Monday, June 27, 2011

Back To Prison

It must have cost that overweeningly prideful man much indeed to appeal for clemency before Judge Amy St.Eve. "My family has suffered deeply ... I do have great concerns in that area." Couching his appeal in those terms; concerns for those whom he loves and who love him, absent his own concern for himself and further incarceration only slightly dimmed the prospect of laying himself wide open and vulnerable, hoping for mercy.

Judge St.Eve may have been recalling some of the caustic messages that issued in earlier days from Conrad Black's lips, characterizing the American justice system, its justices and law fraternity as inferior, and castigating them all for their intolerable miscarriage of justice that took him to prison as a man innocent of all charges brought against him. Most people have no love for those who criticize them; even less do those who have been charged with meting out justice.

At 66 years of age, it might have been thought that Lord Black would be spared further prison time. Given also the findings of the Supreme Court and their ruling on the law that ultimately brought him down as being too vague and loop-holed. And the fact that Lord Black comported himself with dignity and humility both, during and throughout his incarceration. And then, of course, the issue of his health problems.

He did not melt into a lump of self-absorbed pity, although he did burnish a lump of coal, sparking it occasionally to write his own unalterable account of his honour and integrity having been slandered without cause. What he did engage in was to communicate with the outside world through a series of sometimes random articles expounding on the state of the world's politics and economics from his knowledgeable and practical point of view.

And he shared with other prison inmates his formidable writing skills, encouraging others to express themselves as fulsomely and as professionally as he is capable of doing. He made friends among the other prison inmates, rather than stand in judgement upon them as incarcerants since he was one himself due to circumstances quite, at that point, outside his control.

He maintained an active email conversation and correspondence with people whom his agile mind and capability of expression intrigued. In short, he paid a penalty for what the law of the United States deemed to be a white-collar act of criminality, and in the process he acquitted himself outstandingly well, while being of use to many people inside the system.

To now impose upon him what will certainly be the onerous burden of another nine months' imprisonment seems a cruelty unwarranted by the circumstances.

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