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Home > Blog > The Martha Stewart Sentence
Out of Our Minds
Friday, July 16, 2004 12:40 PM
The Martha Stewart Sentence
Anita Sharpe on Business

Fair or not? If you were in her ankle bracelet, would you appeal?

Here's my take: it's hard for me to understand why she should go to prison for misleading investigators investigating a crime (insider trading) she was never charged with. As Newsweek columnist Allan Sloan pointed out, it's not so different from telling the police officer who pulled you over that you had no idea how fast you were driving. Have you ever done that and known better? If so, you were lying during an investigation.

Before she was sentenced to five months behind bars and five months of at-home confinement, Stewart asked the judge to 'remember all the good I have done.'

Many will roll their eyes, but it's not a small point. One Martha fan interviewed by the New York Times last spring said, 'It sounds corny, but she brings beauty into my life.' That's not such shabby public service.



6 comments

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mary Arangua - 10/16/2004 2:39:00 PM
We are such an ethically stupid society we no longer know what a lie is. Martha and the Feds had a difference of opinion, you see. Martha knew that if someone asks you a question that is none of their business ('Little girl, is your mother home?' asked the solicitor at the door.) she did not have to tell them anything. Feds, on the other hand, believed they had a 'right to know.' It was a power play and the Feds won.
Martha just thought that following ethics would be enough. Wrong! This is what good lawyers are for. Martha, you went cheap when you should have hired the best. Don't be so naive next time.
anita - 7/23/2004 3:23:54 PM
But she wasn't charged with stock fraud. If they had made a case for insider trading, it would have been a different story. As it was, it struck me as a silly case and a waste of taxpayers' money.
MikeB - 7/23/2004 11:10:24 AM
Wait a minute! Swindling little old ladies out of their retirement funds (which is the ultimate result of stock fraud) is not comparable to speeding. And, Stewart didn't lie to a local cop, she lied to federal investigators. It's not quite the same thing.

It's an indication of just how shallow our society has become when we excuse a felony because the criminal is good at arranging flowers.

If you want beauty in your life, try volunteering at a day care center or nursing home.
Dave - 7/16/2004 8:35:02 PM
Oh, jeez.

Look, one of the first lessons an adult learns is that life ain't fair. Live with it.

Then you add on the next lesson, the rich get away with everything - including, lately it seems, murder. If you are rich enough to hire an 'dream team' of lawyers that is.

One of more tougher lessons an adult learns is that you gotta be careful when you deal with the law. That cop may pull you over wrongfully, but is you twitch at the wrong time he just might ask you to get out and spread 'em. Respect the law - even if they don't return it. Again... deal with it.

So now you expect me to feel sorry for Stewart because (a) she was dumb enough to somehow get caught doing something she never was really charged with and (b) she makes lives more beautiful?

Jeez. I got better things to do. There's people in worse prisons in this country serving life terms for things they truly didn't do.

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