From: UNAC <email@example.com>Date: December 31, 2013 5:25:11 PM ESTSubject: [unac] FINALLY! Feds Asks Judge to Release Lynne StewartReply-To: UNAC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(please forward widely)
Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
Lynne Stewart could be/should be free today!
I just got off the phone with Betty Davis, a central leader of Lynne Stewart’s New York Defense Committee. Two hours ago today, December 31, at 1:30 PM New York time, Lynne’s attorney Bob Boyle, called to say that the Bureau of Prisons at long last requested that Judge John Koeltl grant Lynne compassionate release and timed served. If Koeltl follows through with his previous statements in court that if the BOP makes such a recommendation he would be inclined to approve it post haste, Lynne could be released as early as today.
It may be that even if Koeltl is out of town for the holidays, he could grant the order electronically.
Meanwhile, Lynne’s husband, Ralph Poynter, is on route to see Lynne at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. Lynne may be released into Ralph’s loving care and off she goes to live free in New York at the home of loving family. To date prison medical experts predict that Lynne’s Stage 4 breast cancer may allow her some 12-18 months to live.
But the world famous Sloan Kettering Hospital has pledged to take charge of Lynne’s care immediately where they will do the best possible to retard this metastasized cancer and extend her life, hopefully, even longer.
What a wonderful moment this New Year’s eve could be, assuming that all goes well.
A million thanks to everyone who joined the national and international effort to press the BOP to grant compassionate release. We have always believed in Lynne’s total innocence and fought against the malicious 10-year sentence imposed on her for forcefully representing her client, the blind sheik Omar Abdel Rachman, an Egyptian cleric who was similarly a victim of a U.S. government frame-up on terrorism charges.
Lynne was originally convicted on charges of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism stemming from her release of a press statement on behalf of Rachman. This alleged violation of a government issued Special Administrator Measure (SAM), even if valid, usually carries with it the most minor of punishments – perhaps a letter of reprimand from a government official and a ban on attorney-client visits for a few months. In Lynne’s case Judge Koeltl, who originally sentenced her to 28 months in prison in 2005, extended the sentence to 10 years after federal prosecutors appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that 28 months was too lenient.
Lynne should not have served a single day in prison. Having made that clear, her freedom, within minutes perhaps, will be nevertheless be our collective victory. Having her home, safe and in the loving care of family and friends is the best that we could have hoped for in these very difficult times when civil liberties are being trashed as never before in recent memory. Lynne’s release did not come easy, Literally tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people everyone demanded it, repeatedly calling, writing and emailing the BOP and Justice Department head Eric Holder.
We celebrate this tragic victory and wish everyone well for a fighting New Year, where we must all continue the battle for justice for all political prisoners and all who suffer the plagues of oppression that the U.S. government spreads around the world.
Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Steward Defense Committee
Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.S. See further details in the articles below.
Begin forwarded message:
Date: December 31, 2013 11:10:35 AM PST
Subject: [Rnb-national] FINALLY! Feds Asks Judge to Release Lynne Stewart
Fantastic news! Lynne’s attorney Bob Boyle told Democracy Now late this morning that “We’re fully expecting within the next day or so that [the judge] will sign the order which would enable the Bureau of Prisons to release her, as we say in the legal community, forthwith or immediately.” Bob went on to remind listeners that in August, Judge Koeltl had promised to sign such an order once it was requested by the Justice Department.
to Grant Lynne Stewart Compassionate Release from Prison
BREAKING: Federal Gov’t Asks Judge to Grant Lynne Stewart Compassionate Release from Prison
The Bureau of Prisons has submitted a request to the judge in Lynne Stewart’s case, asking him to grant “compassionate release” to 74-year-old jailed civil rights attorney who is dying from stage IV breast cancer. Scroll down to read the order.
“This morning, the government, meaning the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons, filed a motion before Federal Judge John Koeltl, requesting that Lynne Stewart be re-sentenced to time served,” said Bob Boyle, one of Stewart’s lawyers. “This means she would be eligible – if he signs the order – for immediate release. There is every indication that will sign the order, since he said so on the record, when we made the motion back in July to have her be released.”
Boyle says he fully expects Stewart to be released in the next few days. He says she and her family have been told the news and are extremely relieved and grateful.
Below you can listen to Boyle’s interview about today’s developments with Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz.
Stewart has served almost four years of a 10-year prison sentence for distributing press releases on behalf of her jailed client, Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian cleric known as the “blind Sheikh.” In August, Judge Koeltl rejected a request that would have allowed her to die surrounded by her loved ones, saying he could not order her release unless it was first requested by the Bureau of Prisons, which had turned down Stewart’s bid for release, saying she is not sick enough. Since then, her doctor has said she has less than 18 months to live.
Click here to see all of our coverage of Lynne Stewart
You can also watch our recent show http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/23/time_for_compassion_aging_political_prisoners that looked at the many other elderly political prisoners seeking release, including Oscar Lopez Rivera and Leonard Peltier.
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2013 10:07:04 -0800
Subject: [Pnews] U.S. Asks Judge to Free Lynne Stewart
U.S. Asks Judge to Free Dying Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terrorism
By BENJAMIN WEISER
Published: December 31, 2013
The federal government asked a judge in Manhattan on Tuesday to grant a “compassionate release” to Lynne F. Stewart, the former defense lawyer convicted in 2005 for assisting terrorism who is dying from cancer in a federal prison in Texas.
Ms. Stewart, 74, sought release earlier this year under a Bureau of Prisons program for terminally ill inmates, but did so without the bureau’s backing. The judge, John G. Koeltl of United States District Court, rejected the request in August, but suggested that he would look favorably upon such action if the Bureau of Prisons itself made such a request.
The judge’s comments at the time seem to now assure that Ms. Stewart will be released, upon his order.
The request to Judge Koeltl on Tuesday came from the director of the Bureau of Prisons and the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. The filing said Ms. Stewart qualified for compassionate release because she had a diagnosis of a terminal, incurable illness with a life expectancy of less than 18 months and because of the relatively limited risk of recidivism and danger to the community if she was released.
She is to live with her son, a lawyer, in Brooklyn.Ms. Stewart is best known for her defense of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to blow up landmarks in New York City. She was later tried and convicted of smuggling messages from Mr. Abdel Rahman in prison to his violent followers in Egypt, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She has been serving her sentence at the Federal Medical Center Carswell, in Fort Worth.
Ms. Stewart’s lawyer, Jill R. Shellow, said that she had informed her client of the government’s request, and that Ms. Stewart was looking forward to being with her family.
“It restores my faith in the Justice Department to do the right thing,” Ms. Shellow said. “It was a cooperative effort and I believe it took all aspects of the Department of Justice to make this happen.”
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