Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
On Monday, September 24, 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected Lynne’s appeal for a re-hearing before the entire court. Her original conviction was upheld in 2009 by a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit’s opinion was not unexpected. This was the same court that earlier pressed Federal District Court John Koeltl to re-consider his original 28-month sentence and instead sentence Lynne to ten years.
Lynne, a leading civil rights attorney for 30 years, was convicted in 2005 on frame-up charges of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism. Her crime? She issued a press release on behalf of her client, the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rachman, a leading Egyptian Islamic cleric, was also a victim of the U.S. “war on terror” when a government-instigated frame-up trial convicted him of conspiracy to destroy New York buildings. Typical of “conspiracy” convictions, no evidence of wrongdoing was presented at his trial.
Rachman, a leading critic of the Hosni Mubarack dictatorship in Egypt, and now serving a life sentence in Rochester, Minnesota, was the subject of national attention a few months ago when Egypt’s new president, Mohammad Morsi, embarrassed the Obama administration by demanding his release.
Lynne’s attorneys explained on Monday that “The clock now starts running on our Petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court. We have 90 days to get it filed (with the possibility of a 30-day extension).”
Lynne is presently imprisoned at FMC Carswell outside of Fort Worth, Texas. She has successfully recovered from a difficult surgery that was spitefully delayed by prison authorities. For the past 45 days Lynne was denied all visitors, mail and other basic
Her spirits are high and she is now going through a backlog of some 100-plus letters from friends and supporters.
Here’s a brief summary/timeline of Lynne’s case.
– indicted on April 9, 2002;
Disgracefully, Judge Koeltl explained it, saying: .”(C)omments by Stewart in 2006, including a statement in a television interview that she would do ‘it’ again and would not ‘do anything differently’ influenced (the) decisionŠ.indicat(ing) the original sentence ‘was not sufficient’ to reflect the goals of sentencing guidelines.”
Forgotten were Koeltl’s October 2006 comments, calling Lynne’s character “extraordinary,” saying she was “a credit to her profession,” and that a long imprisonment would be “an unreasonable result,” citing “the somewhat atypical nature of her case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed.”
He also considered her age (70), health (at times poor), distinguished career representing society’s disadvantaged and unwanted, and the unlikelihood she’d commit another “crime.” However, the Second Circuit Appeals Court intimidated him to comply, his own career perhaps on the line otherwise.
Please write Lynne at:
Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator