Martha Stewart conviction upheld by federal appeals court

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday upheld the 2004 conviction [JURIST report] of Martha Stewart [JURIST news archive] for lying to federal investigators in connection with her sale of ImClone stock. Stewart filed an appeal [JURIST report] after being sentenced to five months in prison and five months of house arrest, both of which she has completed [JURIST report]. In the Court's opinion [PDF text], per Judge Peter Hall, the court held that none of the numerous grounds upon which the appeal was filed [appellate brief, PDF] provides a basis to disturb the verdict. In reference to her claim that the use of co-defendant Peter Bacanovic's testimony statements violated the confrontation clause, the court said:

when the object of a conspiracy is to obstruct justice, mislead law enforcement officers, or commit similar offenses by making false statements to investigating officers, truthful statements made to such officers designed to lend credence to the false statements and hence advance the conspiracy are not rendered inadmissible by the Confrontation Clause. A contrary reading of the rule would result in obvious and unacceptable impediments to prosecuting cases like this one, in which the very object of the charged conspiracy is for the defendants to mislead investigators by responding falsely to the investigators' questions in a structured setting, fully aware that their responses might be used in future judicial proceedings.
Stewart and Bacanovic, her former stockbroker, were convicted for lying about why Stewart sold nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems in 2001, just before a negative government report about the company came out. AP has more.


 

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