Lawyer Lynne Stewart Resentenced to 10 Years
A federal judge in New York today resentenced criminal defense attorney Lynne Stewart to ten years in prison.
The sentence was the latest grim chapter in a long odyssey for Ms. Stewart, who was convicted in 2005 of assisting terrorism by smuggling information from an imprisoned client to violent followers in Egypt.
Ms. Stewart, 70, who has breast cancer and was given time to seek treatment before her first sentencing in 2006, said Thursday that incarceration was wearing her down. “It’s a death sentence,” her husband, Ralph Poynter, said outside the courtroom.
The Government had requested 15 to 30 years. 400 people wrote letters on Lynne's behalf. [More...]
As to her misconduct:
In 2000, Stewart broke her agreement to abide by measures set by the Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons stipulating that Abdel-Rahman not be permitted any contact with his organization, Islamic Group. After visiting Abdel-Rahman in prison, Stewart passed on a message from him to his Islamic Group followers. The message that Islamic Group should reconsider a cease-fire in attacks against the Egyptian government. Stewart was disbarred in 2007 and began serving her 28-month sentence in November 2009.
The Judge's reasons:
During a 2 1/2 hour hearing on Thursday, Koeltl took note of Stewart's age, her fight with breast cancer and the unlikelihood of her repeating her actions. He underscored her commitment to serving poor and unpopular clients.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dember told the judge "she's just frankly, your honor, another criminal who refuses to accept responsibility for what she did."
My view: Ten years is totally uncalled for and over the top, by any standard.
For more, visit Justice for Lynne Stewart.
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