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In Web Posting, Martha Stewart Speaks From Prison

By Brooke A. Masters
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 22, 2004; 3:31 PM

Martha Stewart lobbied, in a Christmas message posted on her Web site, for criminal sentencing reform and complained about the "bad food" at the West Virginia prison, where she is serving a five-month sentence for lying about a personal stock sale.

"When one is incarcerated with 1,200 other inmates, it is hard to be selfish at Christmas," Stewart wrote from the federal prison in Alderson, W.Va. "I beseech you all to think about these women -- to encourage the American people to ask for reforms, both in sentencing guidelines, in length of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, and for those involved in drug-taking. They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison."

Martha Stewart issued a plea for prison reform on her Web site. Stewart is scheduled to be released from the federal prison in Alderson, W.Va, in March, 2005. (Gregory Bull -- AP)

_____On The Web_____
_____Martha Stewart Coverage_____
Holly-Stenciled Stone Walls Do a Festive Prison Make (The Washington Post, Dec 19, 2004)
Martha, From Slammer to Syndication (The Washington Post, Dec 9, 2004)
Domestic Diva to Spend Thanksgiving Inside (The Washington Post, Nov 24, 2004)
Complete Trial Background

Stewart also wrote in Wednesday's posting on marthatalks.com that she has had a lot of time on her hands, "time to think, time to write, time to exercise, time to not eat the bad food, and time to walk and contemplate the future."

"Cleaning has been my job -- washing, scrubbing, sweeping, vacuuming, raking leaves, and much more. But like everyone else here, I would rather be doing all of this in my own home."

Stewart has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn her convictions, but the court is unlikely to rule before her scheduled release in March. Stewart is then scheduled to serve five months of home confinement in Bedford, N.Y.

Stewart's company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., has been making plans for the domesticity entrepreneur to host a daytime television show in the fall.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company