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Report: Martha asks to avoid jail
Lifestyle diva said to want probation-only sentence, but won't admit responsibility, sorrow.
July 9, 2004: 9:58 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Martha Stewart is fishing around for a probation-only punishment, but has not expressed any remorse or acceptance of responsibility in her request, according to a newspaper report.

After U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum denied the trendsetter's bid for a new trial Thursday, setting the stage for her sentencing next week on conspiracy and obstruction of justice convictions, Stewart's legal team prepared to submit sealed papers Friday requesting probation only, the New York Daily News reported.

But according to the newspaper, the request never says Stewart is sorry for what she has done or accepts responsibility for her actions, admissions that would help her win a lighter sentence. She instead argues that jailtime will hurt her "fragile" company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO: Research, Estimates), which has reported losses since her conviction March 5.

Stewart also cites her "extraordinary" charitable contributions, reported the Daily News, adding that her conviction for lying about a stock sale is "aberrant behavior" uncharacteristic of a woman who built a media empire on tips for gracious living.

If the judge ignores these arguments, legal experts predict she could get a prison term ranging from 10 months to two years for her conviction.  Top of page




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