Monday, March 03, 2008

Conrad Black: "My Faith In The United States Has Inspired Me To Persevere"

As he prepares to report to a Florida prison today to begin serving a 6½-year sentence, all avenues of appeal exhausted for the moment, Conrad Black delivers an unrepentant op-ed in today's New York Sun:

It is a terrible thing to be falsely accused, and wrongly convicted, even of a fraction of the original charges, and unjustly incarcerated. For persisting in seeking the recognition of my innocence of these charges, I have been portrayed as defiant, or at least in denial. I defy and deny unjust charges, not the practical difficulties I have faced for the last four years and am facing now. I would qualify in political terms as a reasonable member of the law-and-order section of the public. And as a conscientious and religious matter, I believe in the confession and repentance of misconduct, as well as in the punishment of crimes. If I had committed any of the offenses charged, I would have pleaded guilty and asked for a sentence that would enable me to atone for my crime and assuage my guilt and shame.

...My faith in the United States has inspired me to persevere, despite what I believe has been the prosecution's insufficient respect for the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment guarantees of due process, of the grand jury as an assurance against capricious prosecution, of no seizure of assets without just compensation, of speedy justice, access to counsel, and reasonable bail. I have been besieged by various agencies of the U.S. government for over four years, and I know of only one higher bond in U.S. history than the $38 million I have been posting.

...These charges and the actions leading up to them have been unjust. Most of them have already been found to be unjust. I cherish my liberty as all people do, but I am unafraid. I have faith in American justice.

Other reading:

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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