Conrad Black's case is one in which the United States prosecuted him for fraud and obstruction of justice. However, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Black's favor on certain charges of fraud which is quite unusual for the US Supremes to rule on such a case unless there was an obvious agregious abuse of power and miscarriage of justice.
So I'm not inclined to ever accept at face value the claims of a corrupt government. And don't use the term "corrupt" losely. The US government has proven time and time again to be selective in who they prosecute. They have certainly created a perception that they will disregard the law as well as moral and ethical conduct in order to achieve convictions against those they disagree with.
Often times the objective is one of personal engrandizement in an attempt to enhance and advance a career of some federal prosecutor.
That said, I don't know enough about the Black case, however, what I do know of the case I have a propensity to error on the side of the acussed as is the custom in a democratic republic. I believe it is an extremely dangerous precedent to assume that a government, by virtue of being the government, is honorable and predisposed to achieving justice, whilst accepting without prejudice the guilt of an individual based solely on claims made by the government.
Most often times an alleged white collar crime affects nobody. For example, an insider trading case or the case of Martha Stewart's alleged lying to the feds. How, even if she did lie, did that affect anyone else? Similarly, an individual fraudulently (according to the gov) illegally trades stock on inside information and makes $1 million -- who does that exactly harm? And does the government prosecute the "illegal" activity if the trader "loses" money?
Therefore, I do not believe or accept the comparison of Black to that of a common armed thief that shoots someone while robbing a Brinks truck. There two comparisons are illogical and without basis in fact. They are completely utterly and wholely different in nature. And we should stop comparing the "alleged" fraudulent activity of so-called white collar criminals with that of thugs that rob, kill and harm people. Prove to me he harmed someone and then I would agree to prison.