Bad News for Martha

 Posted by on 5 March 2004 at 2:12 pm  Uncategorized
Mar 052004

In very bad news, Martha Stewart has been convicted on all counts. Contrary to popular opinion, none of the charges were for insider trading, but instead one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings. Astonishingly, she faces between 16 months and 16 years of prison time. She has promised to appeal; I wish her all the best.

FoxNews reported a post-verdict conversation with Juror #8, Chappell Hartridge. He said that the “most damning testimony” was from Mariana Pasternak (Martha Stewart’s best friend) who reported initially that Martha said “Isn’t it good to have brokers who have brokers who tell you these things?” right around the trade in question. Under cross-examination, Pasternak pretty much recanted that testimony, saying that she wasn’t sure whether Martha ever said that. It’s not exactly reassuring that a recanted claim was given so much weight by the jury.

That same juror also said “Are we sending a message? Yes, victory for the little guy. And a message to the bigwigs and corporations to abide by the law.”

Given that the prosecution couldn’t make a case for insider trading or whatnot, what significant law is that supposed to be? (Not that I think insider trading laws are just, but that’s another matter.)

It’s all just revolting.

Update: Instapundit notes a comment from a reader: “So, am I correct in assuming she has been found guilty of covering up crimes the government couldn’t prove she committed?” Glenn replies: “I haven’t followed this case closely, but I think that’s the gist of it.” (Greta van Susteren just made this point on FoxNews: “She’s been convicted of a cover-up of a non-crime.”)

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