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October 16, 2006

High-profile terrorism lawyer to be sentenced today

As detailed in this AP report and this New York Times article, attorney Lynne Stewart is due to be sentenced in Manhattan later today.  Here are the basics from the AP:

Prosecutors are asking that the 67-year-old lawyer be given the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for enabling Omar Abdel-Rahman to communicate with followers despite demands that he be isolated from the world....  In a pre-sentence document, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl that Stewart's "egregious, flagrant abuse of her profession, abuse that amounted to material support to a terrorist group, deserves to be severely punished."

Stewart, who represented Abdel-Rahman at his 1995 trial, [sent] a letter to the judge, [in which] she asked for mercy.  "The government's characterization of me and what occurred is inaccurate and untrue," she wrote. "It takes unfair advantage of the climate of urgency and hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was re-lived during the trial.  I did not intentionally enter into any plot or conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization."

This long article from the New York Sun provides lots of background on all the support Stewart has received as her sentencing has approached.  It also notes this interesting website, Justice for Lynne Stewart, which says Stewart's case "has echoes of Haymarket, Sacco/Vanzetti, and the Rosenbergs."  At that website, there is this link to the letter that Stewart wrote to the court in anticipation of her sentencing.

None of the reports I have seen indicate what the guidelines are advising in this case.  Does anyone know?  Because of all the attention this case has generated, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl might wel decide to lean heavily on the guidelines to provide a kind of cover for his sentencing decision.

October 16, 2006 at 07:01 AM | Permalink

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» Treasonous Lawyer Begs for Mercy from Outside The Beltway | OTB
Lynne Stewart, a lawyer who helped Omar Abdel Rahman get messages back to terrorists who are at war with the United States, is going to argue she deserves mercy because she was too emotionally invested in the case to make sound judgments. The New York ... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 16, 2006 8:43:26 AM

» Sentencing Day from A Blog For All
I'm hoping the book is thrown her way. It's one thing to claim that you're zealously representing your clients. It's quite another to actively break the law and threaten national security by passing communications from your terrorist clients to forei... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 16, 2006 12:17:26 PM

» Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Aiding Terrorists from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart will be sentenced in New York for aiding terrorists. Stewart was c [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 16, 2006 3:28:26 PM

Comments

No word on Stewart yet, but Koeltl gave co-defendant Ahmed Sattar, who had faced life in prison, a below-guidelines 24-year term.

Posted by: Matthew G. (law clerk) | Oct 16, 2006 1:58:48 PM

I think the guidelines in the Stewart case were about 30 years and she received 28 months. I am not sure though, I think it was just on the radio.

Posted by: | Oct 16, 2006 2:31:04 PM

The question now is what Youssry will get. I wonder if judge koetl will find him more or less culpable than Stewart. If any one is deserving of probation, he is.

Posted by: | Oct 16, 2006 2:38:10 PM

WNBC.com reports 28 months for Stewart.

Posted by: Matthew G. | Oct 16, 2006 2:38:33 PM

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