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Martha Stewart, found guilty in a jury trial of lying about a suspicious stock trade in which she had inside information, was given five months in jail, five months of house arrest, two years of probation, and a $30,000 fine – the most lenient sentence she could have been given, according to legal experts.

However, Stewart remains free pending her appeal, and she maintained her innocence both in statements to the court before the sentencing and in a press conference afterwards outside the courthouse.
KC's View:
In listening to the news coverage of the sentencing last Friday, we have to admit that for the first time since she was targeted by investigators, we actually felt sorry for Martha. While she certainly seems to be guilty, she also almost certainly was targeted because of her celebrity status, and only was doing something that many other people do every day.

(Be honest. If you held a substantial position in a public company and got wind of the fact that news soon would be announced that might send the stock price into the toilet, wouldn’t you at least be tempted to sell? Especially if you thought you could get away with it?)

That said, it probably is fair for celebrities to be targeted in ways lesser mortals are not. After all, as Peter Parker once was told by Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.” And that includes the responsibility for acting in an ethical manner. Even if you can get away with doing less.

By the way, our feelings that maybe Martha was getting a raw deal evaporated yesterday morning when we read that she had said that many good people go to jail and survive the experience, and mentioned Nelson Mandela as one example. Well, if Martha for one moment is equating herself with Mandela…lock her up and throw away the key.