[Marxism] Th. 11/19 4 pm rally for Lynne Stewart at Foley Square (near City Hall) as she reports to jail
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu Nov 19 08:52:15 MST 2009
I attended yesterday's demonstration for an hour from 4 to 5pm. There were
about 75 people when I was there. Lynne Stewart held a news conference. This
is basically a case about the right of a defense attorney - in this case,
one of the best - to make an effective defense of an alleged terrorist. It
therefore involves the rights of all. I hope more people can come today. The
following item from the West Coast Defense Committee makes mention of
today's rally in NYC and background on the case.
Lynne Stewart in Jail!
Protest Lynne Stewart's incarceration!
San Francisco Federal Courthouse, 7th and Mission, SF
Monday, November 23, 5:00 pm
Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
I just got off the phone with Lynne Stewart a few minutes ago, that is, late
Wednesday (early Thursday, November 19, New York time) . She bravely told me
that she has been ordered to report to U.S. Federal Marshals to be
imprisoned at 5 pm, Thursday, November 19. There will be a 4 pm NY rally of
her supporters, who will escort her to the courthouse for imprisonment.
In San Francisco, we will rally on Monday, Nov. 23 to protest Lynne's
frame-up trial and imprisonment. Be there! (See above.)
Following the November 16 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second
Circuit that rejected Lynne Stewart's appeal of her 1995 frame-up conviction
on five counts of aiding and abetting terrorism, Lynne's legal team as well
the federal district court were in a quandary as to how to proceed. [Lynne
has been a leading civil and human rights attorney for 30-years. She is a
member of the National Lawyers Guild and a member of the Continuations
Committee of the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and
The Second Circuit made what amounted to an unprecedented decision to not
only affirm her conviction and reject her appeal but to order that her bail
be revoked and that she be remanded to prison. But lacking clear orders as
to who would carry out this decision and when it would happen, the last two
days have seen Lynne appear, along with her supporters at two rallies in her
defense and numerous press conferences and interviews while judges and
lawyers tried to ascertain what to do. That decision has been made and Lynne
will begin serving a 28-month prison term.
However, the Second Circuit's 2-1 decision also remanded the issue of the
length of Lynne's sentence back to Judge John Koeltl's Federal District
Court ordering Koeltl to reconsider the 28-month jail sentence that he
originally imposed. Obviously furious at the relatively short duration of
the sentence, the Second Circuit accepted the prosecution's assertion that
Koeltl had not properly considered the question of whether or not Lynne has
perjured herself during her trial. If that were to be determined, according
to the Second Circuit, the length of Lynne's sentence could be extended. The
single dissenting judge went further - expressing his outrage at Lynne
relatively short sentence and suggesting that a qualitatively longer
sentence be imposed than the majority contemplated. The government
originally demanded a 30-year sentence!
Still fighting, Lynne's attorney's will ask the Second Circuit for a delay
in her incarceration based on Lynne's scheduled December surgery. Here too,
Lynne guesses that this will be denied, with the court holding that prison
facilities are adequate for any medical needs that Lynne, a diabetic with
hypertension and recovering from breast cancer surgery, may have.
Meanwhile, a new sentencing hearing before Judge Koeltl is scheduled for
December 2 at the Foley Square Courthouse. Federal prosecutors are expected
to ask for the maximum sentence possible. Also appearing in court will be
Mohammed Yousery, Lynne's innocent co-defendant and translator. Koeltl was
also ordered to reconsider Yousery's 20-month sentence. The prison term of a
third defendant in Lynne's case, Ahmed Sattar, who was sentenced to 20-plus
years, was not challenged.
At this point we can only speculate as to whether Judge Koeltl will stand by
his original sentence or be pressured by the Second Circuit to extend Lynne
and Mohammed's sentence. The judge is known to carefully consider his
sentences. Close observers believe that he is unlikely to bend and impose a
Should Koeltl refuse to add additional years to Lynne's prison term, the
government is expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Government
prosecutors and obviously the Second Circuit are outraged that a "convicted
terrorist" has been walking around the streets for the past five years, free
to champion her own cause and those of all others who suffer political
repression. It was clear from Judge Koeltl's short sentence and high praise
of Lynne's record as an attorney and human being, a "credit to her
profession," said Koeltl during the sentencing hearing, that he felt
compelled to take his distance from the government's desire to put Lynne,
70, in prison for what would amount to the rest of her life.
Lynne will appeal the Second Circuit's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. She
has repeatedly stated that her prosecution and persecution are consciously
orchestrated by the government to chill the defense bar, that is, to instill
the fear of government prosecutions into any attorney who seeks to afford
alleged terrorists or others who are victims of unjust government
persecution, a vigorous and dedicated defense. Lynne points to the upcoming
U.S. prosecution efforts of Guantanamo prisoners as a prime example.
Again, join us on Monday, November 23 at 5:00 pm at the San Francisco
Federal Courthouse, 7th and Mission.
For further information contact: Jeff Mackler, Coordinator, West Coast Lynne
Stewart Defense Committee 510-268-9429 jmackler at lmi.net
Mail tax free contributions payable to National Lawyers Guild Foundation.
Write in memo box: "Lynne Stewart Defense." Mail to: Lynne Stewart Defense,
P.O. Box 10328, Oakland, CA 94610.
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