Is this appropriate? Should Martha Stewart be given a lesser sentence because of the layoffs that would result from her absence?
For the reasons stated above in the question – no. Though I understand there is a precedent for it, the company IS Martha, and Martha IS the company. The damage has already been done to the company, in that her image has been compromised. I doubt Martha getting a lighter sentence would make an iota of difference. And it’s not as if they could rename the company (somehow I don’t think Martha would stand for it in any case) and continue as if nothing has happened.
Now, should she get a lesser sentence (than the 20 years possible) – yes. What she did is small potatoes compared to businessmen like the Rigases ($100 million stolen from Adelphia, and their legal expenses covered by the company) or Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco ($600 million), who is also getting his legal tab paid for by the company he ripped off. Link
These two have been milking the court system for the last 3 years – and then what happens? Kozlowski gets a mistrial because of some stupid old broad on the jury. What a joke. And yet Martha’s appeal for a new trial based on similar allegations failed. Link
Other than the fact she’s the kind of person that just gets most people’s hackles up, what explains the courts throwing the books at Martha?
No. She doesn't deserve a lesser sentence. If she's worried about employees, then hire someone to take over the business and go to jail like a good criminal
She needs to be taught a lesson. She did something illegal and deserves jail time. She isn't getting any special treatment.
Frankly, I am not a Martha fan. I think she’s a vain, overbearing, mean, obnoxious woman. That being said, I think she is being made an example of. $50K in that world is pocket change. If the courts are going to throw the book at Martha, then why is Ken Lay still running around free? Why are the creeps from Adelphia and Tyco still free? So, I would counter GoAmerica that she is receiving “special” treatment; “specially bad”.