Conrad Black is no mafia boss – but he does have the world’s most deliberative jury…

Jurors in Chicago will reconvene on Monday morning – for what will be their eighth day of deliberations.

Lord Black is facing nine counts of fraud, one of obstruction of justice and one of racketeering.

I don’t know how long it should take a jury to decide these things. It seems like a lot of charges, but they all relate to the same behaviour (and the racketeering is an American thing).

Again, nobody in the US gives a shit. The Canadian and UK media are all over this (think Enron, for scale of interest). I wouldn’t expect too many US journalists to be amongst these crowds:

BBC pic

freemedia pic

In fact the reason Lord Black is being tried in Chicago is because his former company, Hollinger International, was based there. Funnily enough, being in Chicago, he’s downstairs from a far more interesting trial – the mafia!

…while the former chief executive of the Hollinger press empire waits to hear whether he will go to jail, a new trial has begun in the same court building.

Four former mafia bosses stand accused of a lifetime of involvement in organised crime.

They are all in their 60s and 70s. The oldest – Joey “the Clown” Lombardo – is 78.

The offences alleged include 18 murders.

Yeah, that’s way more interesting. If convicted on the racketeering charge, though, Black goes to gaol for just as long – I compared Black to Jeffrey Skilling a few days ago, for the same reasons. This makes that racketeering charge a cool one, because it carries with it the big penalty (20 years), which is why Black and Skilling, for all the differences in their crimes, face similar penalties.

Lord Black must wish by now that he had based his company somewhere else. In the UK, they might have just given him Jeffrey Archer’s old room in Hollesley Bay for a few years…

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