Stewart Wants Conviction Vacated

In a Christmas letter to fans posted on her Web site (, incarcerated TV lifestyle diva Martha Stewart complained about the food, urged prison reform, and asked Web surfers to check out a new brief filed by her lawyers.

The 67-page brief asks that Stewart's convictions be vacated, saying the trial was "constitutionally infirm" and "cannot be salvaged. Stewart was convicted for lying about a stock deal to federal investigators.

In the letter, Stewart pleaded for her fellow inmates.

"So many of the women here in Alderson will never have the joy and wellbeing that you and I experience. Many of them have been here for years -- devoid of care, devoid of love, devoid of family," she wrote.

"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 where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life "out there" where each person will ultimately find herself, many with no skills and no preparation for living.

"I am fine, really. I look forward to being home, to getting back to my valuable work, to creating, cooking, and making television. I have had time to think, time to write, time to exercise, time to not eat the bad food, and time to walk and contemplate the future.

"I've had my work here, too. 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, and not here -- away from family and friends.

A caveat on the site pointed out that Stewart was speaking for herself, not her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.