Conrad Black, the Canadian news editor and author will have his appeal heard by the US Supreme Court on March 1st of this year.
Mr. Black is held in extremely high regard by this author, who watched in shock and amazement as his trial slowly wound through the court system . His subsequent conviction shattered my faith in the US justice system. His jury conviction seemed to be based on the juries perception of Mr. Black as a peer and wealthy business man more than on any clear evidence of wrong doing to his company. The subsequent near total loss of value in the publishing entities since his removal bare out the truth.
The key aspect under which Mr. Black was convicted is the so-called Honest services fraud statute, a statute so broad and ill defined that a third of the nation would qualify as being in breech of it.
Justice Antonin Scalia described the law as "mush" and "inherently vague" and engaged in a number of raucous exchanges with the Deputy Solicitor General during his argument. Justice Scalia decried giving the law meaning that Congress failed to provide:
"You speak as though it's up to us to write the statute. But that's not our job."
Early indications are that the Supreme Court will find the statute too poorly defined to be valid law, and righly so. Thus, Mr. Black may soon find his long sought for justice will in some ways be fulfilled. It would be the most amazing of judicial reversals, and long overdue.
Best of luck to you, Mr. Black!
Mr. Black contiues to write, and is a NRO contributor. He has recently penned this fine piece as a diary entry from jail.