Friday, November 17, 2006

Birthday parties

More fun from Tom Bower on the plight of Conrad Black.  Black’s problem is that his self regard won’t allow him to make even the slightest admission that he might have done something wrong, making a plea deal impossible.  The same ego makes it impossible for him to understand how inadvisable it is for him to take the stand in his own defense.  The second he opens his mouth on the stand the jury will be slipping the judge a note asking if it would be possible to impose the death penalty.

Prosecutors love to tell the jury a good story.  The story that led to the conviction of Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski was the lavish birthday party Kozlowski threw for his wife’s fortieth birthday party.  The story that will finish Conrad is the birthday party he threw for his vile wife’s sixtieth birthday.  These things are trivial in the larger context, but juries lap them up.