Conrad Black gets bail – News – MSN CA
|Above: CBC’s Mike Hornberg (CBC correspondent covering the Black trial) reviews the court order granting Conrad Black bail being reviewed by Judge Saint-Yves later this week. Black’s release is certain, but the terms of his release still need to be set, according to Hornberg (Monday, July 19, 2010).|
ord Conrad Black still manages to garner headlines here in Canada. And now, just 2 years into his 6½-year sentence, an appeals court in the U.S. has overturned 3 of the 4 chargers that previously landed him in prison. And now it looks a whole lot like Black, who is to be released later this week, may never go back to prison.
Of course, I was always of the view Black deserved jail time. But his original sentence (which was in excess of 12 years, if memory serves) was far too harsh. In my view, the United States punishes its non-violent criminals far too harshly to begin with. Certainly, with 60-70% of its national prison population incarcerated on drug charges (unrelated to violent crime), one has to question the sentencing guidance at minimum. Huge costs are going to keep these people in jail, after all. Until recently, I was paid less than the maintenance costs associated with annual incarceration (and what’s changed is advancement in my career…not that less is being spent on prisons).
So I find myself sort of thinking Black should be released at this point, even if he was guilty. But that decision lies in the hands of authorities south of the border. Of course, his legal troubles aren’t over yet simply because he’s out of jail: the IRS is after him for over $70 million and questions over whether he’s guilty of tax evasion…which could land him in jail again at some future date.
But for now, it appears that insofar as these charges are concerned, he may never return to jail.