Lynne Stewart ordered to jail
Disbarred radical lawyer Lynne Stewart is going to jail - maybe for a lot longer than she thought.
An appeals court Tuesday upheld her conviction for smuggling messages to her jailed terrorist client and said she deserves more than the 28 months she got because she may have lied at her trial.
"I will go on fighting," Stewart, 70, told about a dozen supporters outside Manhattan federal court Tuesday.
"I'm no criminal." The ruling said Stewart was to surrender to U.S. Marshals immediately, but her lawyers won her another day of freedom - until at least 5 p.m. Wednesday.
They hope to convince the feds to let her surrender after she goes for minor surgery for what she called "plumbing problems" on Dec. 7.
The Brooklyn resident, free on bail since 2006, said she is prepared to be locked up.
"Visit me in jail," she told supporters. "Send money to the commissary!"
Stewart was sentenced to two years and four months in prison in 2005 for helping Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman talk to militants from prison after his 1996 conviction for plotting to blow up New York City icons and assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Prosecutors, who wanted her jailed for 30 years, appealed, calling the light sentence "a slap on the wrist" for someone convicted "of a crime of terrorism."
The appeals court said the trial judge, John Koeltl, should have determined at sentencing if Stewart committed perjury when she testified.
"Any cover-up or attempt to evade responsibility by a failure to tell the truth upon oath or affirmation at her trial would compound the gravity of her crime," the court said.
We're glad she's joking about this, but this is hardly a laughing matter. she knowingly abetted with a known terrorists, a recognized terrorist organization, and she firmly believes she was acting in the best interests of her client. I won't go into how many ethical rules she broke in acting this way. She willingly broke the law, and she bloody well knew it.
Andy McCarthy squared off against Stewart in the Rahman trial and he weighed in on the three-ring legal circus surrounding her:
By the way, since my topic in today’s column is Attorney General Holder’s sudden concern over delays in the military commission system, it’s worth pointing out that, for conduct that started around 1999, Stewart was indicted in 2002; her trial did not begin until mid-2004 and took about eight months; after that, they dawdled for over a year before finally imposing sentence in October 2006; now, a decade after the conduct, seven years after arrest, four years after trial, and three years after sentence – and mind you, she’s been free on bail since 2002 – the appeal has at long last been decided, and it has resulted in … a remand for further sentencing proceedings. And, after they someday occur, there will surely be another trip to the Second Circuit, and then an appeal to the Supreme Court. After that, the habeas corpus petitions start …
This may be far from over, as Mr. McCarthy notes, but for the time being her butt is going back to jail where it belongs. And should the judge determine she did commit perjury then the sentence had better be extended. The thirty years would have been fine with us, and should have been imposed. And let's hope that this time around she doesn't use her breast cancer treatment as an excuse to delay the sentencing like the first time around.
She was disbarred immediately upon conviction, which was appropriate. The 28 month sentence is a joke, and she deserves to be put in jail. Her supporters claim she is being persecuted for freedom of speech. Not true, she broke the law. She breached legal ethics. There is no excuse for this sort of action except the fact that she's a radical activist that dislikes the government, and supports the actions of known terrorists.
HT to Captain Ed