For the legal beagles

Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 01:15 pm
The following is a bit of a story on the Martha Stewart trial that was just posted on CNN today ( http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/05/news/companies/martha/index.htm?cnn=yes ):

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The judge in the Martha Stewart trial -- in a technical ruling that was a blow to Stewart's ex-broker Peter Bacanovic -- ruled Friday that jurors can consider a telephone log plus the testimony of a witness in deciding if Bacanovic committed perjury.

Under federal law, finding someone guilty of perjury requires the testimony of two witnesses. The jury had asked Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum if a phone log kept by Stewart's assistant, Ann Armstrong, is independent of her testimony at the trial.

Can anyone offer a plausible rationale for the judges decision here. If I write something down and then I also testify to it in court aren't both really testimony of one witness?

If the log was someone else's and had been proved accurate in the cout room then I could understand how it could be considered two witnesses testifying but, The log is from the same person as the court testimony.

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Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 01:35 pm
I'm not a lawyer but it sounds odd to me. If a log entry and testimony about a log entry are two different witness then the prosecution could really slam dunk it by submitting the record of the court testimony and have three witness.
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Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 01:39 pm
That's about the same as my line of thought.
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Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 02:11 pm
Fishin': I haven't followed the case, and I'm not really familiar with perjury law. That being said, I have no clue how a person's notes can function as independent testimony -- unless the notes are considered business records, i.e. records kept in the ordinary course of business. If that's the case, then I suppose the notes could constitute independent testimony (although I'd still be rather dubious about that).
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Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 02:16 pm
Martha Stewart Guilty on All Charges:

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