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Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision

Martha Stewart indeed is becoming a prisoner's rights advocate. Welcome, Martha.

Following the Supreme Court's decision in Booker last week, Martha sent an e-mail to Wall St. Journal reporter Laurie Cohen. (subscription only.) The gist: Martha thinks the decision will result in many inmates becoming severely depressed. So many had high hopes for Booker...thinking if the guidelines were thrown out, they would get shorter sentences. Particularly in federal camps like Alderson, where Martha is, most of the prisoners are first time, non-violent offenders. Some are serving long sentences, due to the guidelines.

Ms. Stewart said many of Alderson's inmates are there for long periods of time, many "unfairly or unwisely because of the guidelines, enhancements and conspiracies."

..."As you can imagine," Ms. Stewart wrote in her e-mail, "when one gets to talk to these women, most first offenders, and many perfectly nice 'neighbors next door,' it is mind boggling to understand that they have four, six and fifteen years to serve away from family, friends, jobs and homes. It is indeed pitiable.

The article ends with a quote about Martha by the infamous Jean Harris, the New York private school teacher who killed her lover, Herman Tarnower in 1980. Taronower was the author of the Scarsdale diet.

"Martha Stewart couldn't walk into a garden without doing a little weeding," Ms. Harris said in a recent interview. "And there's a lot of weeding to do in those prisons."

For today's real Booker update, head on over to Sentencing Law and Policy , where Law Prof. Doug Berman continues to post every new detail and reaction. He re-evaluates Judge Cassell's decision in Wilson on how to apply Booker here.
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  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#1)
    by wg on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 11:31:22 PM EST
    here is a very simple color background commentary on Booker.

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#2)
    by wg on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 11:36:24 PM EST
    working link to Booker

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 11:51:02 PM EST
    One word, "Good"

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 07:13:12 AM EST
    Good for you too, Fred. How good it must feel to sit back and feel superior without actually doing anything. I hope the day comes for you sooner than later when you realize you've been suckered by conservative idealogues into giving up all your freedom and all your rights. At least you can see what the government is spending your money on in this case!

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#5)
    by wishful on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 07:15:02 AM EST
    mfox, is it me, or is your message unclear?

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 10:15:26 AM EST
    wishful, I made that posting after reading wg's background on booker and Fred subsequently commenting "good" with regards to the ruling. My point was that Booker is hardly a victory for the libertarian brand of conservative. And yes, it was probably unclear. Apologies.

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 01:29:05 PM EST
    "Martha Stewart couldn't walk into a garden without doing a little weeding," Ms. Harris said in a recent interview. "And there's a lot of weeding to do in those prisons." This passage makes it hard for me not to identify with Martha. May the big fish get their chance to explore prison gardening...

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#8)
    by cp on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 02:44:27 PM EST
    get real. as soon as martha walks away from prison, it will be as though she was never there. those who think anyone as totally self-centered as she, cares half a whit about her cell mates, needs to check that prescription again. and this comes from someone possibly even more self-centered than martha, me! i am so self-centered, if i won a trip for two, i'd take myself.

    Re: Martha Stewart Weighs in On Booker Decision (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 19, 2005 at 07:35:18 AM EST
    First, let me say I'm glad to see Martha Stewart feels the need to speak out about the state of our prisons. But here is what impressed me most about this story: Martha is allowed to write email from prison? I really didn't care one way or another what happened to Martha Stewart when the Imclone story broke. I am one to think that white collar crime is, more often than not, more deserving of stiffer sentences than petty street crime is. Martha is only there for a relatively short period (apparently) when compared to her fellow prisoners. She apparently has developed empathy for them. What is the broader context of a millionaire business/celebrity feeling despair over the idea of women serving sentences in a prison that allows prisoners to use email? To me, the context is that as bad as it is there, it is obviously immeasurably worse elsewhere. What would your average middle class citizen think if they were forced to witness or be subjected to the violence of your average State Pen? Unfortunately for society, our average citizen would probably simply think, "good, they're getting what they deserve." They think that because they assume that everyone in places like that were convicted of crimes deserving of the punishments dictated by law, even though most often only victims and lawyers really know what those laws prescribe. Once again, thanks to our Corporate media's editorial decision making.