Since Conrad Black entered the Coleman Federal Correction Complex in central Florida in 2008, he’s repeatedly said that his conviction was a mistake. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is a step closer to agreeing with him.
While the court didn’t throw out his conviction, it did redefine the interpretation of the ???honest services??? theory, which was the basis for Black’s fraud case.
The honest services law refers to a 28-word provision that makes it illegal “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.” Many people say the wording is vague and ends up blowing mistakes and small transgressions out of proportion.
The Supreme Court Justices didn’t knock down the law ??? prosecutors can keep trying people on honest services fraud convictions ??? but only in situations where bribes or kickbacks were accepted.
How will this affect the Toronto-born former media mogul? The case is going back to the Appeal Court, and if it’s overturned, his three mail fraud charges will be dropped. However, he’s also serving six and a half years for an obstruction charge, which wasn’t discussed by the court.
The government wants the fraud charge to stick, but Miguel Estrada, Black’s Washington lawyer told the media that the ruling is a ???great victory for Conrad. He said that the government’s accusation is not fraud and the Supreme Court agrees: it was neither a bribe nor a kickback.???