Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The President: Pardon for Conrad Black?

The Globe and Mail reports that one of the individuals on our Pardon Watch List is indeed hoping for a presidential pardon. 63-year old media baron Lord Conrad Black is hoping George W. Bush will come through. As his lawyers put it, "You never know." Black has reported to a low-security jail in Florida to begin serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice.

Jacob Frenkel, a former U.S. prosecutor says "It's very plausible that as soon as the election ends, President Bush could commute or issue a pardon." Frenkel also believes that President Bush may have an "emotional incentive" in Lord Black's case because of the involvement of Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, who also the special prosecutor in the high-profile case against Lewis (Scooter) Libby. Story here and here.

Editor: If Mr. Frenkel is attempting to place himself at the front of the line of critics when the Black pardon comes down the line - if it comes down the line - then I give him credit for crafty analysis. Otherwise, the general observation / hypothesis that Bush is out to get Fitzgerald does not seem plausible.

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