Lynne speaks with Noelle Hanrahan of PrisonRadio (pre-incarceration).
A LONG VIGIL FOR A LONG STRUGGLE
May 8, 2013, Times Square, NYC, Photo credit Julia Reinhart
LYNNE STEWART SHOULD BE FREE!
Together we will create a public presence in front of the very courts that persecuted Lynne Stewart. We will stand for love, courage and solidarity to make the call for
Lynne to return home.
STAND WITH THE MANY
NOT WITH THE FEW
Health Bulletin from Lynne May 2013
I wanted everyone to be aware of the latest state of the metastasis of my cancer, as revealed by the most recent PET scan. While the lymph nodes and scapula have shown great improvement in size and density following chemo, the cancer in my lungs has not appreciably changed. It is still Stage 4. Since I am now finished with the four chemo treatments that are considered safe, there will need to be a new course of treatment.
As you all know, I am determined to fight fight fight and one day walk out of Prison—soon. Right now, I am finding myself very weary, needing frequent naps. Worse, I am affected by the Chemo brain which takes a toll on my memory and my ability to task and multi task. As most of you would agree, nothing can be as cruel as that which affects mental ability. Nonetheless, I am trying — I have lost appetite (hence the pounds shed –some earlier and not due to cancer but to Jail) and, of course, my hair. Now that the chemo has ended, I hope that my energy level will pick up and I will be able to resume my writing and correspondence.
Meanwhile, it is more important than ever that we keep up the pressure on the Bureau of Prisons and that they do not snatch victory and turn it into defeat. We are waiting for an inspection by the Probation Department in New York, of my sons’s home where I intend to be cared for in Brooklyn. Then the motion by the Washington BOP to Judge Koeltl and his decision. None of this will happen unless we keep up the pressure. Together we all have accomplished much (See comment on “More Releases of Ailing Prisoners” NYT 5/2/13) But we have miles to go before we sleep and I must say when I return to my bed after a slight exertion, I am mighty happy to sigh and fall in !! Bring me home !!
You can support Lynne by attending the following events:
1.–Rally, Wed. May 8, 5-8pm–Times Square, NYC.
2.–Rally, Thurs. May 9, 7- 10pm–80 St. Mark’s Theatre-St. Mark’s Place at 1st Av, NYC
IMPACT OF NUMBERS –Diverse and Impassioned – From Lynne
After experiencing a great happiness as I learned that our request for my compassionate release had been approved had been recommended, I truly felt a resounding depth of joy when I read in the New York Times that the Bureau of Prisons’ Inspector General has recommended “More Releases of Ailing Prisoners…” NYT May 2,2013. Of course, my gratitude to the many people who signed on the petition and wrote is unbounded BUT as a lifelong advocate, if my case can budge the bureaucracy to unfreeze the safety valve for the dangerously ill who are confined in these prisons without hope of release, that is a much greater victory to me and all of us.
Carswell is the only womens’ prison hospital in the Federal System and is replete with tragedy. While not going into detail, let me just say that there now seems to be a crack in the wall because of the reaction of all of you to the call to aid me in the hour of need. That answer is reverberating and may well serve not only me but countless others who are ill and not so fortunate as I. This is what I want as my Legacy — to make it better for others who may not be able to rally as I was able to.
Lynne Stewart. May 4, 2013
May 1, 2013
Mr. Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director
Re: Lynne Irene Stewart, #53504-054 Compassionate Release
Dear Director Samuels:
The National Lawyers Guild – New York City Chapter is writing to support “Compassionate Release” for Ms. Lynne Irene Stewart, #53504-054, who is currently serving a ten year sentence at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. Ms. Stewart has Stage Four breast cancer. The cancer has now spread to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs.
Ms. Stewart’s daughter, who is a physician, has publicly stated, “Under the best circumstances, Lynne would be in a battle of the most serious consequences with dangerous odds. With cancer and cancer treatment, the complications can be as debilitating and as dangerous as the cancer itself.”
Ms. Stewart has been a long-term member of the NLG-NYC Chapter and is a cherished friend and colleague to many of us. Our chapter cares deeply for Ms. Stewart and is very concerned about the desperate state of her health.
Under 18 USC §3582 (c) (1) (A) (i), a sentencing court, on motion of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, may reduce the term of imprisonment of an inmate sentenced under the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. Lynne Stewart’s case satisfies each of the statute’s requirements. She has a terminal disease, she has a viable release plan and she is not a threat to the safety of the community. The NLG-NYC strongly urges you to file this motion without any further delay.
We look forward to hearing from you shortly.
Garrett Wright, President
STATEMENT FROM LYNNE STEWART & RALPH POYNTER RE: HER COMPASSIONATE RELEASE
A worldwide Embrace to all of the thousands of People who helped Me ! As my hero said, we are motivated by great feelings of love and compassion and I am fortunate to be the beneficiary, this time around.
To savor this victory, you all should know that the Carswell Prison authorities kept telling me ” It can’t be done”. You don’t qualify. Why bother? Wait till you are closer to death! To all of them I replied that I have been fighting battles like this all my life and I would never quit. Then I had this white blood cell setback, making me super-vulnerable and was quarantined for a week. I was relieved on Friday to learn that indeed “the children had shouted” and the walls ” Did come a-tumblin’ down “ I must say that I was in a state of bliss. Not Just to Win but to accomplish it in the time honored method , … we will organize the People and you dare not ignore us !!
I owe an enormous debt to so many. This is the one we had to win where the medical decision was made that compassionate release was warranted. That cannot be trifled with BUT… we who have been out here struggling from the fifties onward know that the Government is masterful at Co-optation at snatching victory and making it defeat. Please do not think that my struggle is WON. We have this fabulous win but we still have the DC National Bureau of Prisons (if there ever was a time to hold Obama’s feet to the fire, this is it) and then their forwarding of the case to the Judge in New York for a final decision (Yes, the same one that increased my original sentence from 28 months to 10 years !) So please, please, please do not let us rest on our laurels. Until my feet are planted like the Tree that grows in Brooklyn, and I am among my family, friends, and comrades and plunged back into the struggle once more, we must continue. Fight On!!
In today’s world it is increasingly difficult to find individuals with the intellectual and ethical fortitude, compassion and love “to speak truth to power” and give voice to those who have been silenced, shunned or wronged. Lynne Stewart is one such person. She has repeatedly been an instrument to defend in U.S. courts those whose narratives do NOT fit within the prevailing, ‘officially’ sanctioned narratives of our times.
In so doing, Lynne Stewart represents the finest in the tradition of American civil rights defenders. That she should face criminal charges for her actions to defend her client reflects the tragic state of affairs of the U.S. justice system today.
I cannot help but feel compelled to stand in staunch support and love with a true American heroine.
I urge others to do so, fearlessly and tenderly, so that Lynne–who has provided solidarity, counsel and support to countless others in need, may feel an outpouring of human solidarity and support in this poignant moment of her own life story.
Lynne, you are NOT alone. I stand—we stand—together in solidarity and love.
Lynne, you are in my prayers and actions. Do know that I will channel a request through the U.S. Embassy here in Managua asking for your immediate release and will write to others in the United States and elsewhere to press for your immediate release.
Fr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann
President of UN General Assembly, 2008-2009
Foreign Minister of Nicaragua, 1979-1990
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
This is the beginning of one of Lynne Stewart’s favorite Shakespeare speeches. How remarkable that it should so closely fit her current situation. She has given a lifetime of service to others. Mercy is a quality which she seems to have in unlimited amounts – Mercy for the most put-upon, the most despised, the most in need. Her mercy, compassion, and indeed her service as an attorney was always freely and cheerfully given to anyone she represented. She brought hope to those in despair. She brought love to the despised. .
Today, Lynne Stewart is suffering a terrible disease, alone, fifteen hundred miles from her husband, children, grandchildren and friends. She is undergoing the painful, debilitating effects of chemotherapy without the comforting presence of her loved ones.
It seems only just that this kind and wonderful woman should, at this critical time, be shown the same measure of mercy that she has shown to others.
Kathleen Chalfant, actor