Steve Skurka is the legal analyst for CTV. A practising defence attorney, he has defended such landmark cases as the Dee Brown racial profiling case, the Hells Angels anti-gang law case, the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal, and the Guy Paul Morin Inquiry. He is a widely regarded and frequently quoted legal analyst and his blog, "The Crime Sheet," has been cited by major publications.
It was Canadaâ€™s trial of the century - held in an American court. Media titan Conrad Black, by turns respected and reviled for decades in Canada and around the world, faced off with U.S. prosecutors on charges of criminal fraud stemming from his activities with Hollinger Inc.
The trial was "tilted" from the outset. Black attempted to tilt things in his favour by using his considerable wealth to mount a ferocious defence. But his efforts were countered by an American justice system that is heavily tilted in favour of the prosecution. And ironically, the same wealth that Black used to strengthen his defence was used against him as the prosecution repeatedly played the "class card" to turn jurors against him. Employing skilled analysis, expert insight, and touches of warmth and humour, Steve Skurka brings the trial to life in a way that readers have never experienced before. Tilted: The Trial of Conrad Black is the authoritative book on the most important trial of the decade.
What makes Tilted more than just a chronicle of a criminal case â€™round and â€™round the â€śappeal-go-round,â€ť as Skurka calls it, are the wonderfully human details that make trials and their aftermath the compelling dramas that they are: Blackâ€™s wife fainting at his re-sentencing; the line of prisoners cheering Black when he was released on appellate bond; Amy St. Eve, the judge at Blackâ€™s trial, sitting in the Supreme Court during oral argument of the case; and Blackâ€™s assistant and a defense witness selling T-shirts outside the courthouse that read â€śConrad Will Win.â€ť
â€¦ kudos to Skurka for being able to breathe some life into his book.
While one might be tempted to think there are already too many recent books on Black to choose from, Skurkaâ€™s book is a refreshing departure from the rest. First, it covers the trial from a strictly Canadian viewpoint and does so in a witty and conversational style, with a sharp eye on all the personalities involved, how they fared and interacted with each otherâ€¦ A ripping read.