Lynne Stewart Trial:Michael Tigar's Closing
Michael Tigar has finished his two day closing argument in the Lynne Stewart trial. The prosecution began its rebuttal closing Tuesday and the jury should get the case Wednesday:
Michael Tigar, finished his closing argument on behalf of civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart by saying he feared Islamic or other fundamentalists were going to win -- but not through usual means. He said the authors of the Bill of Rights were "not cowards," and he portrayed his client as a hero for more than 30 years of work on behalf of people who were often destitute or despised.
"Suppose we got so worked up, so incited by the rhetoric of government, that we decided to punish people for their radical politics because their politics scared us or their religious doctrine appalled us," he said.
Tigar said such an attitude might cause people to "skip over reasonable doubt and do things based on suspicion," casting aside the presumption of innocence. "If all that happened, members of the jury, the fundamentalists would have won," he added. "They would have seen extinguished the light of this last hope of earth, which is not some particular country, but it is the very ideology of human rights." He said such a result would be cheered by Islamic fundamentalists.
What's really at stake in the Lynne Stewart case? Your constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. Your right to zealous representation by the counsel of your choice. Your right to speak to your attorney in confidence, without the Government listening in.
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