Martha Stewart Found Guilty

She knew stuff before other people knew it, and we can't have any of that.

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That's not what she was

That's not what she was convicted of. She was convicted of lying to SEC investigators, not trading on inside information. The case against her is still questionable, but it's important to distinguish between the different charges here.

Good point. However, the

Good point.

However, the 'crime' which she was being investigated for was knowing something before others, and that is the act that most of the public sees as her crime. The statement by one juror seems to imply that the jurors were also focused on it:

"Maybe it?s a victory for the little guys who lose money in the market because of these kinds of transactions,? said juror Chappell Hartridge, of the Bronx.

If I understand it right,

If I understand it right, she's was convicted of lying about a crime that she wasn't actually charged with. Does that make any sense?

It's cases like this that make me wonder if "trial by jury" is such a good idea. Not that I can think of anything better....

While I don't think the SEC

While I don't think the SEC should exist, and likewise criminal penalties for "insider trading," I can see why stockholders in a company would have an interest in a reasonable degree of confidence that the corporate management (which was elected to reflect the interests of all stockholders) weren't giving special treatment to their friends at the expense of other stockholders.

Instead of being enforced by government regulation, though, such standards should be adopted voluntarily by corporations as part of their own bylaws, as a way of competing for investment.

Matt, the problem here is

Matt, the problem here is less with the concept of trial by jury than its execution. I have a strong suspicion the jury instructions in this case may have done Ms. Stewart in. I've seen this happen in antitrust jury cases (the few that even go to trial). When you combine inherently vague, non-objective laws with bad jury instructions, more often than not you'll get a conviction, especially when the defendant is portrayed as unsympathetic.

Hate ta see it. Poor woman.

Hate ta see it. Poor woman. And Jesus:
""Maybe it?s a victory for the little guys who lose money in the market because of these kinds of transactions,? said juror Chappell Hartridge, of the Bronx."

That one quote is worthy of a post of its own, Jonathan.

I echo Mr. Lopez. I wish -

I echo Mr. Lopez.

I wish - just wish - that when that inveterate tool was standing there before reporters, leaking fallaciousness and oozing self-righteousness, with all the camera shutters clicking and tapes whirring and data streaming, that someone with half a mind and some decent grasp of economics stood up, ramrod straight and with a voice deep and commanding, and said:

"Actually, sir, the foundational flaw in your reasoning there is..."

And all the cameras and scribes and cameraman turned and all attention was lavished on this heroic figure. This figure, thankful for the airtime - and not the least bit intimidated by the attention - launches a volley at tyranny so elegant in its simplicity, so understandable in its obviousness that those tuning in are immediately dumbstruck and then enlightened. And when the inevitable cacophony died down, a single reporter's voice is turned back in the direction of Mr. Hartridge and asks, plainly and imploringly - "yes, Mr. Hartridge, what about that?"

Perhaps, I am being overly cinematic and grandiose, but really... where is the roving economic libertarian intelli-heckler?

Robert, Blogging, Or at

Robert,

Blogging, Or at work. But don't let that get in the way -- it *would* be great cinema!

Difficult, as most

Difficult, as most libertarians are definately not symbolic analysts interested in sound bites with thier name supered underneath, to launch their 'book/host job/diet/movie/etc'.

As for whether the SEC and

As for whether the SEC and insider-trading laws should be abolished... Yeah, on the one hand, that's the sort of thing that the government is never going to do right. On the other, that's not the sort of thing that the boards and top management of corporations, given their druthers, would feel all that inclined to do a good job of either, and the market is not going to demand it in any particularly forceful way because the average investor doesn't want to spend that much time keeping an eye on the behavior of every company in their portfolio. Like so many business ethics issues, it winds up being a catch-22, it seems to me...

"Obstruction of Justice"

"Obstruction of Justice" consists of merely protesting your innocence to the cops.

That she will go to jail is a travesty... that people will cheer at it, shows just how out of whack they are.

I agree that this is a

I agree that this is a travesty. The biggest travesty is that so many feel that by ruining this woman they somehow feel better about life. When, in fact they are killing themselves. The wise man sees that for true liberty and freedom the rights of those you hate MUST be as unconditional as your own. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Our current Roman government, with it's courts that follow only the rules they make for themselves, is a far cry from the intended freedoms given by blood by the founders.
Fight the pain of boredom and watch an hour of CSPAN. See what those who say they are 'your voice' are doing as your Masters. Watch the state and local governments. Cry for the nation. Cry for yourselves.