Conrad Black, from Dan Grossman

November 2, 2012 |

 I have followed Conrad Black and highly recommend his recent book, A Matter of Principle . The latter half of the book — on his conviction, incarceration, successful appeal to the Supreme Court, but then his re-sentencing (for one count out of some 16 dismissed or overturned) — is very compelling, and more interesting than the first half of the book, an over-detailed account of his business activities, although they seemed highly successful and convincingly non-criminal to me.

He presents a brave account (despite great pressure to apologize to the Court in order to receive a lesser sentence, he always refused to do so) and he writes with grace, humor, and a refusal to feel sorry for himself.

Very good on the nature of the US criminal justice system, the legal profession, and the alacrity with which famous friends immediately desert him or even work against him when he is charged with a crime (Henry Kissinger is prominent in this regard).

As I say, highly recommended. It's a compelling example that when the government decides it wants to convict you, it is 99% successful in being able to do so.

(The law Black was convicted under, in its latest iteration, was authored by now-VP Joe Biden. At the Supreme Court hearing, Justice Breyer — probably the justice who most upholds the government — commented that the way the law was written, probably 80% of the business executives in the US could be convicted under it.)





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