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updated 7/16/2004 3:52:21 PM ET 2004-07-16T19:52:21

My “Closing Argument” examines why it‘s OK to feel sorry for Martha Stewart. There was overwhelming evidence that she was guilty of lying to federal investigators about what she knew and when she knew it.  She deserved to be convicted.  Justice was served. 

Justice will also be served if she gets a light sentence.  She‘s was facing a range of 10-16 months, although it could have been as low as probation.  Five months is okay. She should have gotten no more than 10 months and be allowed to serve half in home detention, as is the case with many people, convicted of similar crimes. 

I know from the e-mails, some of you will say, "Why do I feel any remorse for someone who lied, who thought she was above the law?"   

First of all it‘s worth repeating: She probably would not have been charged at all if she were Margaret Stewart instead of the Martha Stewart.  She was not acting in a role as a CEO but as a private investor.They never charged her with the alleged crime she lied about and I think she got bad legal advice when her lawyers allowed her to talk at all.

If she had refused to talk, she never would have been charged.  That does not mean she should just get probation as the defense has requested.  Their arguments that she could be a better use on the outside than on the inside ring hollow with me.  Almost all white-collar criminals can make the same argument.  A message must be sent that lying to federal investigators won‘t be tolerated.  She should serve some time. 

A sentence that for Martha Stewart will arguably be more difficult because of who she is.  Martha has already gotten the sort of special treatment none of us would want.  Don‘t lump her in with the real corporate criminals whose nefarious deeds led to the demise of major companies.  She lied about her own stock trade. 

To those of you who say "If it were me, I would be serving the max," I say if it were you, "You wouldn‘t have been charged."

This was Dan Abrams' closing argument on the eve of the Martha Stewart sentencing. "The Abrams Report" airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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