Supreme Court Shoots Down Jefferson's Appeal

But will review Conrad Black's conviction
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2009 11:44 AM CDT
Supreme Court Shoots Down Jefferson's Appeal
In this Dec. 10, 2007 file photo, convicted newspaper mogul Conrad Black arrives at the federal building in Chicago for sentencing in his racketeering and fraud trial.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

The Supreme Court today refused to hear William Jefferson’s appeal, meaning the former New Orleans congressman’s corruption case is headed for trial, the Times-Picayune reports. The court will, however, consider overturning the fraud conviction against former media mogul Conrad Black and two of his compatriots.

Jefferson is accused of accepting payments from businesses in exchange for helping them land contracts in Africa. But he’d argued that 14 of the 16 charges against him should be dropped, because the grand jury heard testimony that violated the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause. Black is serving 6 ½ years in prison in connection with payments he received from a subsidiary of the Hollinger International media firm he ran. He has argued that he didn’t commit fraud, because his actions didn’t harm the company. (Read more Conrad Black stories.)

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