Pardon Martha Stewart

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Dear Mr. President:

A terrible injustice has been done to Martha
Stewart. Her only real crime was to be too successful,
thereby eliciting the enmity of misguided and misinformed
citizens who feel that she represents the face of corporate crime.

It is our belief, Mr. President, that Martha Stewart
was put on trial and aggressively prosecuted in a
criminal court because of who she is. Please allow us
to explain.

There is an awful irony in the Justice Department's
victory against Martha Stewart. Ostensibly the
message has gone out that justice has triumphed: the
good guys won and from now on no other corporate
malfeasance will be committed with impunity.

But consider the Ken Lays of the world who ravage
their companies' and their stockholders' wealth as
they amass their own personal fortunes.

In Martha Stewart's case we are facing the destruction
of a corporation that was not only enriching its
stockholders, prior to media leaks by investigators
about Martha Stewart's case, but was gainfully
employing hundreds of people in a company that seemed
destined to blossom and continue to support a steady
economy. Martha Stewart did nothing to damage her own
company or its employees.

After investigating Martha Stewart for insider
trading, there was not enough evidence to bring the
case to criminal trial. Instead, the Justice
Department tried to levy a charge that Martha Stewart
engaged in securities fraud merely by saying she was
innocent, a charge which was rightfully dismissed by
Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum. We shudder to imagine
the outcome of this had she not had the wisdom to do
so.

Now Martha Stewart has been convicted of lying, in a
meeting where none of the questions were written down,
and for the obstruction of justice in an investigation
where she provided all the documents and information
that were requested. For her cooperation, she now
faces years behind bars, while those who do not
cooperate still walk free.

This show trial has resulted in the loss of over a
billion dollars in Omnimedia shareholder wealth,
thanks in large part to leaks from sources close to
the investigation to the media, not anything Ms.
Stewart did. It has cost taxpayers millions of dollars
to support the investigation and the subsequent trial,
and has resulted in no clear restitution in cases
where a company's CEO was accused of draining employee
retirement funds or scamming unwitting shareholders.

After the trial, one of the jurors said this was a
victory for the little guys, but it appears it's the
little guys, the taxpayers, employees and
shareholders, who really paid the price.

Sir, we implore you to empower any agency that might
offer some relief from the terrible injustice done to
a woman who has brought happiness, personal enrichment
and joy into the lives of millions of her devoted
readers, viewers and fans. Martha Stewart has
venerated the core of American values - the home. We
believe that sending her to prison will send an awful
message.

Finally, the likely loss of jobs that will result from
the destruction of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Inc. should Ms. Stewart be incarcerated is in itself a
tragedy - one that can be avoided.

It is our assertion that Martha Stewart deserves a
presidential pardon in this case and we are humbly
asking you to grant it.