The Benefits of Doubt.

Proving press baron Conrad Black guilty may not be as tough as he thinks — or as it should be

John Gress - Reuters

Conrad Black arrives at the Dirksen federal court building in Chicago for opening arguments in his trial.

Conrad Black, the press baron accused of looting his Hollinger International media empire, began his current trial in Chicago with at least one thought on his mind. "The prosecutors will soon, finally, have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of completely innocent people," he wrote recently. "They will fail, and justice will be done."

Well, maybe. The strength of the government's case against him and his co-defendants aside, "beyond a reasonable doubt," the level of proof required to convict a criminal suspect, may not be as high a barrier between Black and jail as he thinks.

Black's lawyers seem...

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