No silver spoon

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 8, 2004

Guilty, guilty, guilty and guilty. That's the verdict that was handed down last week in the case of Martha Stewart.

It's almost hard to believe that after they dropped the largest of the charges of security fraud that a jury did in fact find her guilty of the other charges.

I'm sure many people were thinking like myself in that a jury probably wouldn't find her guilty. Even though the fact showed that something indeed happen and that she had the opportunity to dispose of her stock in ImClone before the fall.

Guilty to obstruction of justice. Guilty to making false statements to the government and guilty to conspiracy. Martha's in deep trouble folks and all the cookies, cakes, bedding and flowers will not get her out of this one.

Do you think she was ready for those verdicts? The rich and powerful have over the years been able to talk their way out of or pay the best attorneys in the country in an effort to get out of anything they could. I'm sure her attorneys were not cheap and they said they would appeal, but Martha had to report to her probation officer Sunday and then get ready for the sentencing hearing in June.

Although this gives her attorneys time to go forward with an appeal, I found it interesting that the jurors who did talk after the proceedings said the defense had no case during the trial. Customarily an appeal is based some act of the law that was mishandled by the judge or attorneys and no one seems to think that any of that was done incorrectly as well. What leg does Martha have to stand on now? She didn't speak in her own defense and the defense called only one witness.

Martha thought just like many that this would go away and she could go on with her billionaire lifestyle. The days of fancy federal prisons are over they say and Martha will be told when to wake up and when to go to sleep. She won't be able to sleep on her signature bedding collection, but instead settle for the same type of cot and sheets that everyone else does.

All weekend we have seen the do's and don'ts being discussed. Martha can receive as much as 20 years but most analysis are estimating about two years. Even two years behind bars with no privileges in such a small space and strip searches should bring the mega-queen to her knees. Many people talked about Martha's attitude with employees and people in general. It will be extremely interested to see how she can adjust to this life style if that's what the judge chooses. Federal prison is more strict and your sentence is usually that. You can gain some good time but whether that changes your length of sentence, I'm not sure

A lot will rest in the hand of this judge, I guess. The jury has made their decision and say they made it based totally on the facts presented to them by the prosecutor. Everyone analyzing this case have said the judge will probably hand out an active sentence, but how much time is anyone's guess.

We'll all be sitting around when the time comes to see what happens. In recent years, corporate crime has topped the evening news. CEOs have stolen from their employees, filed false reports and left many people with a bad taste in their mouths. The criminal justice system has finally seen fit to charge these people, prosecute them and send them to prison. Martha Stewart has committed a crime – a crime that is punishable by law. If it was you or I and we were found guilty, we would not have the media coverage she received, but would be sentenced for that crime and sent to jail. The "decorating diva" is no different and it's really nice to think that we're finally "feeding everyone out of the same spoon". No more "silver spoons". Martha, take a deep breath and swallow.