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Stewart appeal to assert violation of 6th Amendment

[JURIST] 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.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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