Conrad Black back in court, likely hoping he picks lawyers better than mayoral candidates
Shortly after noon today, Conrad Black’s lawyers walked into a Chicago courtroom and basically asked a panel of judges to kill the last outstanding charges against him: obstruction of justice and fraud charges that weren’t vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court a few months back. Black has had a long streak of legal luck over the past few months, but the outcome isn’t exactly a sure thing.
CTV News reports:
The prosecution, for its part, will be arguing that the convictions should stand and Black should return to jail to serve out his sentence.
James Morton, a Toronto lawyer, told The Canadian Press he believes the court will throw out the fraud convictions but uphold the obstruction of justice conviction.
Black could be resentenced on the obstruction of justice conviction, which could mean he could be sent back to jail to serve out his sentence by as early as Christmas.
The fraud charges are serious enough—and it would be so much easier to mount a defence without some back-alley security camera footage—but it’s the obstruction of justice charges that are the real speed bumps on Black’s road to freedom.
It’s kind of amusing that this story is getting coverage in three different markets: Toronto, Chicago and—wait for it—Palm Beach, where his Blackness is holed up. If the Lord of Crossharbour picks his lawyers better than he picks his mayoral endorsements, he’ll no doubt be back in Toronto soon, and Palm Beach will go back to being best known in Canada as the place where retirees snap up cheap summer homes.
• Conrad Black’s lawyer in appeals court today [CTV News]
• Black bids to nullify convictions [National Post]
• Could today be Conrad Black’s last day in court? [Macleans]
• Arguments set in appeal of former media mogul Conrad Black’s conviction [Chicago Tribune]
• Conrad Black to seek dismissal of conviction at U.S. Court of Appeals [Palm Beach Daily News]
• Black’s Lawyers Tell Appeals Court to Throw Out Mail Fraud Conviction [Bloomberg]