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Just a few throw pillows ....
I'm sure everyone has seen the news that Martha Stewart has been convicted of acting on insider information, saving herself some $50K by selling ImClone stock before the rest of us could know of its plunge following an FDA decision. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the sentence might be softened to the point of "home confinement".
This I don't get.
She's walking free until sentencing and I'm sure she will appeal. The Post reports that a guy who admitted he did the same thing as Martha is serving 7 years in prison. What kind of justice is it that would put him in jail and perhaps leave Martha Stewart confined to her mansion. Maybe the judge would insist she stay in just one of her nicely appointed rooms?
We're missing a big opportunity here -- for the incarcerated as well as for the ImClone queen. Just think of the good Martha could do in prison. Adding zest to that bread and water meal; putting a new look on cinder blocks; what every cellmate wants for Purim. With the prison population growing, Martha is missing a compelling business opportunity here.
WIth Ken Lay--someone who robbed thousands of employees out of their jobs and retirement savings--pratically guaranteed not to spend any time in prison at all, I don't really think Martha Stewart should either, given that her crimes were far less serious. I know that's not how justice works, but it's not as if our justice system works that well, anyway.
Insider trading, like other white collar crimes, is a terrible problem in this country, but there are many, many people committing it on a much larger scale than Stewart who will never see the inside of a jail cell.
Posted by: Rachel at March 6, 2004 1:11 PM
I think the distinction between Sam Waksal, who is serving seven years for insider trading, and Martha Stewart, is that the government hasn't been able to prove insider trading in her case. She made false statements while they were investigating her on insider trading, and that's what they prosecuted her for. This is essentially a consolation prize for the government, but it does prove the old axiom that it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover-up.
Posted by: david at March 6, 2004 1:13 PM
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