Steve Lendman Blog For 30 years, Lynne heroically defended America’s poor, underprivileged, unwanted, and forgotten. Without advocates like her, they never have a chance for due process and judicial fairness.
Lynne championed equity and justice. She devoted her life and work to upholding principles too important to reject.
She defended controversial figures like Weather Underground activist David Gilbert, United Freedom Front’s Richard Williams, Black Liberation Army figures Sekou Odinga and Nasser Ahmed, and many others like them.
She knew the risks, yet took them courageously. She did so because it’s the right thing to do.
At former US Attorney General Ramzy Clark’s request, she joined his Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman’s defense team.
In 1995, he was wrongfully convicted of seditious conspiracy, solicitation of murder, solicitation of an attack on American military installations, conspiracy to commit murder, and conspiracy to bomb in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center attack. Evidence proved his innocence, not guilt on all charges.
No matter. He never had a chance. Prosecutorial injustice framed him. Show trial theatrics assured imprisoning him for life. He’s currently at Butner (North Carolina) Federal Medical Center northwest of Raleigh.
Defending Rahman got Lynne spuriously charged with:
- “conspiring to defraud the United States;
- conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorist activity;
- providing and concealing material support to terrorist activity; and
- two counts of making false statements.”
Charges stemmed from claiming she violated US Bureau of Prisons Special Administrative Measures (SAMs). They included a gag order on her client.
They prohibited discussing topics the Justice Department (DOJ) ruled outside “legal representation.” Doing so inhibits how lawyers defend any client.
Ramsey Clark issued press releases like Lynne’s. So do other attorneys for their clients. Punishment doesn’t follow. Penalties at most might be mild reprimands. Vengeful recrimination is inconceivable.
Charging Lynne had nothing to do with alleged SAMs violations. It was about silencing a powerful voice for justice. Tactics involved disbarring and imprisoning her.
They took aim at the American Bar Association’s Model rules. They say all lawyers are obligated to:
“devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel.”
They’re also about practicing law ethically, morally and responsibly. It’s to assure everyone is afforded due process and judicial fairness in US courts.
Reality belies the rhetoric. US courts give kangaroos a bad name. Lynne was denied what she did for others heroically and unselfishly.
Doing so sent other lawyers a chilling message not to defend clients Washington wants convicted.
Lynne devoted her life and career to it. She’s now in prison for doing the right thing.
On February 10, 2005, she was convicted on all counts. She was automatically disbarred. New York’s Supreme Court’s Appellate Division denied her petition to resign voluntarily.
On October 17, 2006, she was sentenced to 28 months in prison. At the time, she remained free on bond pending appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
On November 17, it revoked her bond, upheld her conviction, ordered her surrender forthwith, but stayed it until November 19 to permit filing a motion for reconsideration. It was denied. She reported to federal marshals and was imprisoned.
At the behest of Second Circuit judges, her sentence was increased from 28 months to 10 years. She appealed and lost.
On June 28, AP headlined “NY court upholds lawyer’s 10-year prison sentence,” saying:
Second Circuit justices upheld her sentence. They claimed “she earned it through serious crimes that she refuses to acknowledge.”
Saying so reflects police state justice. Defendants charged are guilty by accusation. Innocence doesn’t matter. The power of the state decides what’s right or wrong. Heroic figures like Lynne suffer. She never had a chance.
Imprisoning her for 10 minutes is unjust. Second Circuit justices claimed 28 months was too lenient. They wanted her put away for life.
They remanded her case back to district court Judge John Koeltl. They settled for increasing her sentence to 10 years. They pressured him to comply.
Originally he felt 28 months was unjust. He pronounced sentence then under pressure. Venal systems operate that way.
Lynne’s lawyer, Herald Price Fahringer, said options going forward will be considered. “We’re awfully disappointed in the decision but we’re going to keep going,” he explained.
Lynne’s imprisoned at Federal Medical Center, Carswell.
She can be reached as follows:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Ft. Worth, TX 76127
She recently underwent surgery. Fahringer said she remains “awfully weak and apparently has difficulty moving around.”
On June 29, New York Law Journal contributor Mark Hamblett headlined “Circuit Rejects Speech Claim in Upholding Stewart Term,” saying:
Lynne failed to win a sentence reduction. She claimed her First Amendment rights were violated. Second Circuit judges disagreed, saying:
“Stewart was not punished for violating a governmental restriction on speech.”
“The district court did not treat her speech as a violation of any law—it considered the content of that speech to be helpful in enabling the court to craft a sentence ‘sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth’ ” elsewhere in sentencing guidelines.
“Stewart does indeed argue that she was prosecuted and punished for her political beliefs. The most obvious — and fatal — shortcoming in Stewart’s argument in the context of this appeal is that there is not a hint in the record of any fact to support an assertion that the district court did so.”
“The sentencing judge was determining the characteristics of the defendant, which were legally relevant to a determination of the appropriate sentence to impose on Stewart, through the comments she voluntarily and publicly made.”
Jeff Mackler is West Coast Coordinator of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee. On June 29, he headlined “Court Confirms Ten-Year Sentence for Lynne Stewart,” saying:
Lynne’s 2005 conviction was “outrageous.” Her “crime” was doing the right thing. US “justice” finds that intolerable in defending clients prosecutors want to convict.
“Barring an unlikely Supreme Court reversal, she will now serve her ten-year sentence with perhaps a one-year or ten percent reduction for ‘good behavior.’ ”
Justice Department prosecutors and hanging judges sought vengeance. They took issue with Lynne’s sworn duty to represent all clients honorably. She didn’t “bow to authority (or show) required deference.” They rejected her three core arguments:
(1) Violating her fundamental First Amendment rights.
(2) Unreasonably increasing her original sentence fourfold. Doing so failed to consider her lifetime commitment to justice.
(3) Falsely claiming she perjured and misused her position.
She did her job honorably and courageously. She deserves praise, not prison. She’s one of many thousands wrongfully imprisoned in America’s gulag.
Judicial fairness is just a figure of speech. Malice substitutes for doing the right thing. Federal courts are especially repressive. They’re infested with right-wing hacks.
They’re ideologically hardline. They hand down rulings any despot would love. They defend privilege at the expense of justice. They deplore civil liberties and social fairness.
They oppose labor rights, environmental protections, regulatory checks and balances, and women’s reproductive choice. They mock rule of law principles.
Guilt by accusation is policy. Lynne and others like her never have a chance. Why else would America have by far the world’s largest gulag. Their job is supplying it with more warm bodies. Innocence is no just defense.
Mackler said ” ‘Free Lynne Stewart’ must remain the rallying cry of all those who cherish civil liberties and democratic rights.”
She wouldn’t kiss their ring and paid dearly.
America is on a fast track to tyranny. Nations that imprison its best and most honorable aren’t fit to live in.
Lynne’s treatment symbolizes what’s wrong. Only public rage can change things. There’s no other way.
5 thoughts on “Lynne Stewart Loses Appeal”
very sad indeed……despite my illness and memory loss,…I still recall Lynne Stewart’s dedication to representing her clients to the best of her ability…..I worked for these fascists for over twenty years and was a federally protected whistle-blower (Ha!)….the US Federal Government is the most corrupt entity in the history of mankind….including the Nazi’s….because at least the Nazi’s had the balls to stand up and state what they were about……non of this public relations driven cognitive -dissonance that permeates the American Culture.
…..I hope someday soon that the American people rise up and take back our freedoms from these liars, fascist and war-criminals….then, perhaps after a few “legal” trials and convictions of our own,… we can begin to hang every one of these traitorous bastards…..from the president on down through the house, the senate, the judiciary and the military….impeach them all, en mass and then put them all on trial for treason………….. and when found guilty….
…..hang them all…including putting previous presidents and government officials on trial for historic crimes against humanity…
….convict them and then hang all of them…..
911 = foreign attack my ass…it was all an American / Israeli CIA / Mossad operation about setting the stage for “the long-war” that these fascists have been advancing since they blew Kennedy’s head off….
….convict them and then hang all of them…..
Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family
Hello Mr. O’Guillory,
Anyone and everyone still in possession of their self-respect will be saddened and sickened — but will not be surprised — to read that Lynne Stewart’s appeal has been denied. The DeathStar’s Gauleiters are well aware of Ms. Stewart’s innocence, and, the offenses delineated in the lofty linguistics of her indictment notwithstanding, the crime for which she stands convicted is that of dissent — nothing more and nothing less. One simply does not breech the DeathStar’s secured perimeter of Those Thoughts Permissible and continue to come and go at one’s leisure.
And therefore the DeathStar — itself imprisoned within the penitentiary of its paranoia — has decided to make an example of Lynne Stewart. That the woman is aged and infirm has not escaped the awareness of the persecutors masquerading as prosecutors. And it should not evade ours.
And the harsh, make that cruel — no, make that sadistic — sentence is illustrative of the ruthless, relentless, and remorseless character of a government gone rogue; a government whose corruptions are terminal; a government that has forfeited any vestige of legitimacy.
And, we can look forward to more such trials; and more such verdicts. For even as these words are written, a military tribunal is licking its chops over the prospect of railroading yet other American dissidents — Bradley Manning is in the on-deck circle and after him, Julian Assange, (assuming the government of Ecuador can be bullied or bribed. into denying Mr. Assange’s plea for asylum) with both defendants destined to be Rahway-pookies-wearing-halter-tops should the government have its way. And who among us believes that it will not?
And each preordained conviction will come with still greater ease until, ultimately, the legal proceedings — now purely perfunctory anyway — will be dispensed with altogether, and the daytime tapping of the berobed judges’ gavels supplanted by the nighttime door knocks of the Black Marias sporting bandoliers — and wearing balaclavas.
You are correct, Mr. O’Guillory in your assertion that “the US Federal Government is the most corrupt entity in the history of mankind including the Nazi’s….” The Nazis were far more straightforward with respect to their hatreds; and they were far less avaricious, choosing to confine their carnage to a single continent.
America’s long Descent into Darkness is a painful thing to behold. And it will be more painful still to confront. But confront it we must!
Here’s to secession, JQP
“Land of the free . . . home of the brave”? More like “land of the delusional”! People will NEVER be free as long as they remain woefully ignorant and they will never be brave as long as they wait for someone else to sacrifice for REAL liberty! Any American who after 11 years still believes the official fairy tale about 911 has got to be a total moron.
Retribution for judges and prosecutors of this ilk is forthcoming, and it can’t be soon enough as far as I’m concerned.
They are high on my list, #1.