Stewart appeal to assert violation of 6th Amendment

Martha Stewart's attorneys plan to file an appeal in her insider trading conviction on Wednesday arguing Stewart's Sixth Amendment right to confront a witness was violated during her trial. Stewart's attorneys were unable to cross-examine Peter Bacanovic, Stewart's former stockbroker and co-defendant, after a damaging audiotape interview with him was played during the proceeding. Bacanovic never took the stand. The basis of the appeal is the US Supreme Court ruling in Crawford vs. Washington [PDF] which was decided three days after Stewart convicted. Crawford held that tape-recorded statements from a witness the accused could not cross-examine could not be used, indicating that was a violation of the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. According to sources, Stewart's appellate brief will also detail three other complaints about the prosecution:

  • The government charged its own ink expert, Larry Stewart [PDF], with perjury in his testimony against Martha Stewart;
  • A juror may have lied and withheld information about his background on his jury questionnaire;
  • The jury was never informed that Stewart had not been charged with illegal insider trading.
Read the indictment against Stewart and Bacanovic here [PDF]. JURIST's Paper Chase has ongoing coverage of the Martha Stewart case. CNN has more on Stewart's appeal.

 

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