Thursday, June 03, 2010

Lynne Stewart ill

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,

Forgive this hasty note updating Lynne's situation.

A regularly scheduled follow up test to check on whether Lynne's
breast cancel had reappeared revealed that Lynne now had a spot on
her liver. Lynne struggled with prison authorities to have a required
biopsy and related tests conducted at her regular, that is,
non-prison, Roosevelt Hospital. Her requests were denied and she was
compelled to have the biopsy done in a notoriously inferior facility
where the results could not be determined for a week as compared to
the almost immediate lab tests available at Roosevelt.

During Lynne's prison hospital stay she was shackled and handcuffed
making rest and sleep virtually impossible. A horrified doctor
ordered the shackles removed but immediately following his departure
they were fastened on Lynne's feet and hands once again.

She is now back in her New York City prison cell. Her attorneys have
filed for a postponement of her scheduled July 15 court appearance
where Federal District Court sentencing Judge John Koeltl is to
review the original 28-month jail sentence that he imposed last year.

This sentence was appealed by government prosecutors, who sought to
order Koelt to impose a 30-year sentence. The U.S. Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit, was sympathetic to the government's position and
essentially stated that Koeltl's 28-month sentence exceeded the
bounds of "reasonableness." Koeltl was ordered to reconsider. A
relatively recent Supreme Court decision granted federal district
court judges wide discretion in determining the length of internment.
Koeltl's decision took into consideration many factors that the court
system allows in determining Lynne's sentence. These included Lynne's
character, her service to the community, her health and financial
history and more. He ruled, among other things that Lynne's service
to the community was indeed a "credit to her profession and to the nation."

Contrariwise, the government and prison authorities see Lynne as a
convicted terrorist. Lynne was the victim of a frame-up trial held in
the post-911 context. She was convicted on four counts of "aiding and
abetting terrorism" stemming from a single act, Lynne's issuance of a
press release on behalf of her client, the "blind" Egyptian Shreik
Omar Abdel Rachman. The press release, that the government claimed
violated a Special Administrative Order (SAM), was originally ignored
as essentially trivial by the Clinton administration and then
Attorney General Janet Reno. But the Bush administration's Attorney
General John Ashcroft decided to go after Lynne with a sledge hammer.

A monstrous trial saw government attorney's pulling out all the stops
to convince an intimidated jury that Lynne was associated in some way
with terrorist acts across the globe, not to mention with Osama bin
Laden. Both the judge and government were compelled to admit in court
that there were no such "associations," but press clippings found in
Lynne's office were nevertheless admitted as "hearsay" evidence even
though they were given to Lynne by the government under the rules of discovery.

It is likely that Lynne's request for a postponement will be granted,
assuming the government holds to the law that a prisoner has the
right to partake in her/his own defense. Lynne's illness has
certainly prevented her from doing so.

In the meantime, Lynne would like nothing more than to hear from her
friends and associates. Down the road her defense team will also be
looking for appropriate letters to the judge on Lynne's behalf. More
later on the suggested content of these letters.

Please write Lynne to express your love and solidarity:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
150 Park Row
New York, New York 10007

In Solidarity,

Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

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