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fw: "moral witnesses to the better angels of our nature"

Sun, May 26, 2013

HCCN


If you would like to sign the petition for Lynne Stewart and have not yet done so, it is available at:
—– Original Message —–

Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:48 AM
Subject: URGENT UPDATE ON THE INTERNATIONAL PETITION CAMPAIGN TO FREE LYNNE STEWART AND SAVE HER LIFE – May 25, 2013

URGENT UPDATE ON THE INTERNATIONAL PETITION CAMPAIGN TO FREE LYNNE STEWART AND SAVE HER LIFE – May 25, 2013

JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED!

One month has elapsed since Lynne Stewart was informed that the Warden had recommended Compassionate Release. Since then there has been no indication as to when the Bureau of Prisons will file the appropriate motion with Judge John Koetl.


With every day counting, Lynne Stewart remains in quarantine at FMC Carswell. Her white blood cell is still ominously low, the danger of generalized infection a daily concern. 

As days and weeks are lost, the medical team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York continues on urgent stand-by with every moment of delay increasing Lynne’s jeopardy. 

On May 20th, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark spent two hours in Washington, DC at the Justice Department with the Deputy Attorney-General and an Assistant Attorney General. Attorney General Holder was held up in meetings. 

Earlier that day, Ramsey Clark met at the Federal Bureau of Prisons with top staff of Director Charles E. Samuels, impressing upon them the necessity for immediate preparation and filing of the motion.

Legendary voice of conscience and social justice, Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J., now 92,  signed the petition and issued a clarion call: “Free our Sister Lynne, NOW!!!” 

Father Berrigan was joined by Liz McAllister, widow of Phillip Berrigan, together with their comrades and kindred spirits, Carol Gilbert, O.P. and Ardeth Blatto, O.P. 

During historic struggles for justice over the past half century, marked by their own vindictive prosecution and persecution by a repressive system, Daniel and Philip Berrigan were represented in their trials by Ramsey Clark.

In Ramsey Clark’s words, “these inspiring people are moral witnesses to the better angels of our nature.”


The distinguished Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire wrote to us: “Please add my name to the call for freedom for Lynne Stewart, a courageous and brave woman who suffers within a U.S. prison because of her insistence on justice for us all.”

On the advice of Ramsey Clark and in close consultation with him, the following letters were sent respectively by Mya Shone and Ralph Schoenman to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Bound books containing the names of all signers to date of the International Petition accompanied these letters. Attention was drawn to celebrated advocates of human rights and social justice, nationally and internationally.

Over 17,000 people in the United States and internationally have been moved by the prospect that Lynne Stewart will either perish in prison or so shortly after release will be on the verge of death that she will be denied the comfort and joy of being with those closest to her, including her husband, many children, grandchildren, a great grandchild and lifelong friends.

We must step up the campaign to free Lynne Stewart. Now more than ever, we urge you to contact your friends and colleagues to sign the petition and place the petition on your facebook page.


May 23, 2013                                

Dear President Obama,

We are writing to you as co-coordinators of the international petition campaign to secure compassionate release for Lynne Stewart, the nationally respected attorney who is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell.

As you are aware, the1984 Sentencing Reform Act grants federal courts the power to reduce sentences of federal prisoners for compassionate reasons. Foremost among these is terminal illness.

The Act further directs the Federal Bureau of Prisons to file a motion with the Sentencing judge recommending Compassionate Release based upon facts determined by the Warden where the prisoner in question is incarcerated.

On Friday, April 26, pursuant to applications by Ms. Stewart and her family, and medical findings determined at FMC Carswell, Warden Jody R. Upton recommended Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles R. Samuels, Jr.

Nearly one month has elapsed without indication as to when the appropriate motion will be filed with Judge John Koetl.

Actually, it is one year since the oncologist at the hospital where FMC Carswell inmates are treated, confirmed that breast cancer in remission prior to Ms. Stewart’s imprisonment had metastasized to her lymph nodes, scapula, back and lungs, reaching Stage Four.

Even more alarming, after a series of chemotherapy treatments, the cancer in Ms. Stewart’s lungs remains aggressive; her white blood count dropped so low that it was necessary to quarantine her to reduce risk of generalized infection.

These exigent facts and the arrangements made by Ms. Stewart’s family for treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center informed Warden Jody Upton’s recommendation of Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart.

It is the knowledge that every moment counts that emboldens us to appeal to you as President to give appropriate impetus to the filing of the pending motion for compassionate release with Judge John Koetl.

Ms. Stewart’s life is a testimony to dedication and concern for others. She has been honored the world over for devoting her life to representing the poor and disadvantaged. Upon passing sentence, Judge Koetl observed on the record: “By providing a criminal defense to the poor, the disadvantaged and unpopular over three decades, it is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart performed a public service not only to her clients but to the nation.” He added pointedly that it was not his intention that Lynne Stewart die in prison.

Many thousands of people in the United States and internationally have been moved by the prospect that Lynne Stewart will either perish in prison, or so shortly after release will be on the verge of death that she will be denied the comfort and joy of being with those closest to her, including her husband, many children, grandchildren, a great grandchild and lifelong friends.

To release her solely when death is imminent would cause even greater anguish and pain to those who love her most.

Those who have taken the lead in the appeal on Lynne Stewart’s behalf include former Attorney General Ramsey Clark – who was co-counsel in the case that led to Ms. Stewart’s imprisonment, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, S.J., Ed Asner and Dick Gregory.

We have attached a list of a few of the notable signatories from the large number of people of conscience from all walks of life who have given voice to the international appeal and we are sending by separate cover a bound copy of the book listing some 18,000 signatories.

It is implementation of the letter and spirit of the law tempered by mercy that informs our anguished appeal to you to facilitate the swift delivery of Lynne Stewart to the care of the dedicated medical specialists who await her arrival with growing apprehension.

Yours most sincerely,

Mya Shone                  Ralph Schoenman

***

May 23, 2013                                    

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

We are writing to you as co-coordinators of the international petition campaign to secure compassionate release for Lynne Stewart, the nationally respected attorney who is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell.

As you are aware, the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act grants federal courts the power to reduce sentences of federal prisoners for compassionate reasons. Foremost among these is terminal illness.

The Act allows the Federal Bureau of Prisons to file a motion with the Sentencing judge recommending Compassionate Release based upon facts determined by the Warden where the prisoner in question is incarcerated.

On Friday, April 26, pursuant to the applications by Ms. Stewart and her family and medical findings ascertained at FMC Carswell, Warden Jody R. Upton recommended Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart. She forwarded her recommendation, with appropriate documentation, to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles, R. Samuels, Jr., in Washington, DC.

Nearly one month has elapsed since this recommendation without indication as to when the appropriate motion will be filed with Judge John Koetl. The exigent health crisis confronting Lynne Stewart is such that each day of delay jeopardizes her survival.

Actually, it is one year since the oncologist at the hospital in which FMC Carswell inmates are treated, determined that the breast cancer that had been in remission prior to Ms. Stewart’s imprisonment had metastasized to her lymph nodes, scapula, back and lungs, reaching Stage Four.

Following a series of chemotherapy treatments, the cancer remained aggressive in Ms. Stewart’s lungs. Her white blood count dropped so low that it was necessary to quarantine her to reduce risk of generalized infection, adding the burden of isolation.

These facts and the arrangements made by Ms. Stewart’s family for treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center informed Warden Jody Upton’s recommendation of approval of Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart.

Thus, the exigent health crisis confronting Lynne Stewart is such that each day of delay jeopardizes her survival. The medical team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital is on stand-by, seized by their assessment that every day counts in intensive treatment of this advanced cancer.

Many thousands of people in the United States and internationally have been moved by the prospect that Lynne Stewart either will perish in prison or so shortly after release will be on the verge of death that she will be denied the comfort and joy of being with those closest to her, including her husband, many children, grandchildren, a great grandchild and lifelong friends.

To release her solely when on the verge of death will cause even greater anguish and pain to those who love her most.

Ms. Stewart has been honored the world over for devoting her life to representing the poor and disadvantaged. Upon passing sentence, Judge Koetl observed, “Ms. Stewart, has for over than thirty years, performed a public service not only to her clients but to the nation.” He added pointedly that it was not his intention that she die in prison.

Impelled by this great and abiding concern, we are asking you to use your authority to expedite implementation of the recommendations by the finders of fact and the requisite motion to Judge Koetl.

We have attached a list of a few of the notable signatories from the large number of people of conscience from all walks of life who have given voice to the international appeal and we are sending by separate cover a bound copy of the book listing some 18,000 signatories.

Parenthetically, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark was received most graciously during his visit to your office on May 20th when you were unavailable. He met the Deputy Attorney General and an Assistant Attorney General. Your secretary also spent two hours with him. She was most attentive and helpful, for which he has asked us to convey his sincere appreciation.

He joins us in requesting implementation of Compassionate Release, having met the burden of establishing her entitlement.

We appeal to you to facilitate swift delivery of Lynne Stewart to the care of the dedicated medical specialists who await her arrival with growing apprehension.

Yours respectfully,

Mya Shone                  Ralph Schoenman

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