Be Afraid Martha Stewart, Be Very Afraid!

Martha Stewart, in her first interview since she was indicted in a stock-trading scandal in June, says she is scared but does not believe she will go to prison.

“Who wouldn’t be scared?” Stewart said, according to the ABC interview excerpt. “Of course I’m scared. The last place I would ever want to go is prison. And I don’t think I will be going to prison, though.”

Stewart, 62, is accused of selling ImClone Systems stock in 2001 because she was tipped that the family of ImClone founder Sam Waksal was selling. The next day, the stock plunged on a negative report from the Food and Drug Administration.

I think she should do some time in jail! With the evidence presented thus far IMHO I think she is guilty as ever!!!

The five counts against her carry a total maximum prison sentence of 30 years, but Stewart would likely receive far less under federal sentencing guidelines if convicted.

Why the special treatment?

Waksal, a longtime friend of Stewart’s, pleaded guilty to instructing his daughter to sell her shares because he had early word of the FDA report. He is serving a seven-year sentence in federal prison.

I can’t wait to see how this pans out. Will the cameras be allowed in the court room?

Who here thinks she should do some hard time?

I don’t know enough of the story to know if she should do any hard time or not or even if she’s guilty or not, but it wouldn’t really be special treatment if her sentence were light, considering that her crime wasn’t violent and she’s (to my knowledge) never been convicted of anything else.

Seems to me that an appropriate punishment for insider trading (first offense) would be removal of those assets plus a serious fine and community service.

Fair enough. How much community service do you think she should serve?

I think Wynona Rider got something like 800 hours for stealing clothes.

Should the judge decide how she is to serve the community service or leave it up to Martha to pick and choose?

Probably the equivalent of about 5 years worth of weekends, but I don’t know enough of the legal system to really make an educated guess.

I’ve never thought that the criminal should decide where to serve their community service. I think the judge or someone in the prosecutor’s office should decide. It should probably be vaguely relevant to the crime, but then again, maybe if a high society criminal had to spend weekends cleaning up highways, they’d be a little more careful in the future.

Frankly, I doubt if she will serve a day, and in fact, I doubt that she should do so.

The prosecutors have not charged her with the original insider trading offense, which was at best questionable, as she was not an officer of the company in question, nor did she owe the company’s other stockholders any fiduciary duty.

Instead, the prosecutors have charged her with attempting to manipulate the stock price of her own company by making false statements, to wit, denying her guilt in public.

This is a brand-new interpretation of the laws and has not yet been tested in the courts. I think it quite likely that, eventually, the courts may recognize that Martha, like any other person, has a constitutional right to maintain her innocence right up until her conviction, and even beyond.