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Prosecutors Ridicule Stewart's Release Request

By Brooke A. Masters
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 2, 2005; Page E02

NEW YORK, April 1 -- Federal prosecutors urged a judge Friday not to shorten Martha Stewart's sentence of five months' home confinement, writing that she is suffering only "minor inconvenience."

Stewart asked U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum last month to reconsider her sentence in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared the federal sentencing guidelines advisory.

_____Martha Stewart Coverage_____
Stewart Wants to Be Resentenced (The Washington Post, Mar 18, 2005)
The Great S-Cape: Martha's Prison Poncho Is a Big Hit (The Washington Post, Mar 11, 2005)
More Arrests In ImClone Scandal (The Washington Post, Mar 10, 2005)
Complete Trial Background

Stewart has completed a five-month prison term for lying about a personal stock sale, the minimum sentence previously permitted under the guidelines.

Her lawyers are now asking the judge to either release her from home confinement after only 1 1/2 months or to allow her to work outside her home 80 hours a week, rather than the 48 hours she is permitted.

According to Stewart's lawyers, the restrictions are harming stockholders of her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., because they hamper her ability to record two new television shows and to meet with advertisers and business partners.

But prosecutors ridiculed the request, particularly singling out Stewart's complaint that wearing an ankle monitor -- as required for home confinement -- is impairing her ability to wears skirts and dresses and to appear on television.

The filing by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Schachter also challenged Stewart's assertion that she is basically law-abiding, alleging that she improperly billed her company for a vacation by falsely claiming she had traveled with an investor rather than a personal friend.

"Stewart and her television producers were aware of her sentence when they decided to proceed with her television shows now," Schachter wrote. "Minor inconvenience to one's ability to star in a television show is an insufficient ground for resentencing."

"In seeking resentencing, she is merely asking for what every citizen in her situation is entitled to," said Stewart's attorney Walter E. Dellinger III.

The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the filing.

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