It’s official: Conrad Black is going to jail
“It’s like back to boarding school, without, one dares to assume, the tedium and indignity of corporal punishment.” So said Lord Black in a recent missive to the Irish Independent, and so it shall be. Last evening, as expected, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Black must report to the Coleman Federal Correctional Institution—located an hour or so northwest of Palm Beach—no later than 2 p.m. on Monday. In a twist, both Jack Boultbee and Peter Atkinson were granted a continuance of their bail, pending appeal.
On two of the three fraud charges, the Appeals Court saw merit in the arguments from all three defendants: “The court believes that all three defendants have raised a substantial question concerning counts 1 and 6 of the indictment, given the role that the intangible-rights theory played in the charge and instructions.”
Should those charges be reversed, the remaining sentences for Boultbee and Atkinson would be shorter than the time it will take to hear and rule on their appeal (to occur sometime this summer). This is why they get to remain free. Black, on the other hand, is not so lucky. His sentence for the obstruction charge runs 78 months—much longer than it could possibly take for any appeal to be heard and ruled upon. Because of this, and because the merit of his appeal on the obstruction verdict is “less clear” to the court, His Lordship must begin serving his sentence starting Monday.
In short, Conrad Black’s current condition can more or less be put down to those 13 boxes he moved out of 10 Toronto Street on June 9, 2005. It was the clearest instance of Black’s hubris in this matter and has, to a degree, sealed his fate.
• Rejected appeal means jail for Conrad Black [Telegraph] • Black denied bond, must report to prison [Toronto Star]• Conrad Black fails in bid to delay jail term [Guardian]• Lord Black loses fight to stay out of prison [Times] • Conrad Black denied bail, must report to prison by Monday [National Post]