Thursday, April 01, 2004

Capitalism & The Law: Turns out the "little guy" was a woman-beater

Martha Stewart wants a new trial:

Martha Stewart requested a new trial Wednesday, saying one of the jurors who convicted her failed to disclose a checkered past that includes an arrest on assault charges.

Stewart's lawyers said juror Chappell Hartridge has been sued three times and has been accused of stealing money from a Little League group ? but improperly left the accusations off his jury questionnaire.

The lawyers said Hartridge, who called Stewart's guilty verdict a victory for "the little guy," showed a clear bias against Stewart that damaged her right to a fair trial. . .

. . . Hartridge was the most vocal of the 12 jurors who convicted Stewart, speaking at length to reporters outside the courthouse on March 5 and making several television appearances.

"Maybe it's a victory for the little guy who loses money in the markets because of these types of transactions," he told reporters on the day of the verdict.

Morvillo submitted a batch of news articles quoting Hartridge making similar statements. The lawyer claims they show an unfair bias that would have kept Hartridge off the jury if lawyers had known about it sooner. [AP]
Martha Stewart was owed a jury of her peers, not one of batterers and embezzlers.

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