Martha's Acquittal on Security Fraud Count

Peter Goldberger, the appellate lawyer guru from Ardmore, PA, points out that the news is mischaracterizing the Judge's dismissal of the securities fraud count against Martha Stewart. He writes,

Judge Cedarbaum did not "toss" or "dismiss" or "throw out" the securities fraud charge against Martha Stewart, as all the news stories have been saying. She found Stewart Not Guilty on that charge, that is, she acquitted her.

Peter is correct. Martha was acquitted on that count. You can read the opinion here(pdf).

Update: Here is some of the relevant language from the Judge's opinion:

Defendant Martha Stewart has moved for a judgment of acquittal pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 29. The motion is granted with respect to Count Nine only.

....Mindful of the standards outlined above, and viewing the evidence in its totality and in the light most favorable to the Government’s case, I hold that a reasonable juror could not, without resorting to speculation and surmise, find beyond a reasonable doubt that Stewart’s purpose was to influence the
market in MSLO securities.

....While the Government has presented evidence about Stewart’s financial stake in MSLO and her awareness that her own reputation was crucial to the company, the Government has offered no evidence that Stewart evinced a concern for the price of MSLO stock at any time during the relevant period.

....However, the Government “must do more than introduce evidence that is ‘at least as consistent with innocence as with guilt.’” The Government has not offered any evidence that tips the balance in favor of a rational finding of
criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

For the foregoing reasons, defendant Stewart’s motion for a judgment of acquittal on Count Nine of the Indictment is granted.

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