Although I'm still not convinced she should have been prosecuted so vigorously, Martha Stewart did break the law and should be punished. Still, which sentence do you think would have been of more benefit to society?
Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison, plus five months of home detention and a $30,000 fine for lying to federal authorities investigating her sale of stock in a friend's company. ...I'd've rather seen her do a year of community service than sit in a cell.
[U.S. District Judge Miriam] Cedarbaum, 74, rejected Stewart's bid to avoid prison at a hearing today in New York. Stewart sought to serve her sentence in community service helping underprivileged women launch their own businesses.
In general I don't think people should be sentenced to prison time for non-violent crimes. Our society over-relies on prison to punish crimes because we think it's more humane than the obvious alternatives (scourging, indentured servitude, and so forth), but in reality our prison system isn't very humane at all.