[Marxism] Protest Lynne Stewart's Incarceration Today!

nada dwaltersMIA at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 15:28:57 MST 2009

*UPDATE! Lynne Stewart in Jail!*
*Protest Lynne Stewart's Incarceration Today! *
*San Francisco Federal Courthouse, 7th and Mission, SF*
*Today!, Monday, November 23,  5:00 pm PST

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
Immediately following an uplifting rally, Lynne Stewart was escorted by 
a determined crowd of supporters to jail and is now incarcerated in the 
Manhattan Correctional Center. As fortune would have it, she will be 
there for at least 10 months, perhaps longer, that is, a good part the 
total term of 28 months. If other events don't intervene, it is possible 
that her entire term might be served at the MCC. "Better there than a 
federal prison," her husband Ralph told me yesterday, "because the 
facilities are "better" and visiting is easier on the family."

Lynne has lost her initial appeal to the Second  Circuit to have her 
scheduled December 6 surgery at Lennox Hill Hospital. Instead the courts 
insist that it be at a NY facility associated with the prison system. 
Lynne's request to have her medical doctor daughter observe the 
operation was similarly denied.  

Lynne's new sentencing hearing is set for December 2 before Judge John 
Koeltl, the same judge who originally sentenced Lynne to 28 months when 
government prosecutors sought 30 years. Again, we can only guess what 
Koeltl will do. But Lynne's attorneys are optimistic that he will stick 
to his guns and not accede to the Second Circuit's recommendation that 
Lynne get 80 months based on their insistence that Koeltl did not factor 
into his sentence the possibility that Lynne perjured herself during her 
trial testimony. We also don't know whether Koeltl will just hear the 
arguments on December 2 or hear them and make a decision.

In any case, if Koeltl does NOT add to Lynne's 28-month sentence, 
government prosecutors are expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court 
for a longer sentence. The battle for her freedom continues, of course; 
 Lynne will be appealing her conviction, as well as any possible 
lengthening of her sentence, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lynne's parting words brought tears of joy to the New York rally. She 
pointed to the urgency of winning Mumia's freedom and fighting against 
new efforts at Mumia's execution. She reminded us of Joe Hill's 
admonition, "Don't  Mourn! Organize!" Pam Africa, leader of the fight 
for Mumia's freedom, was present and prominent among Lynne's many 
supporters at this inspiring and tragic sendoff of a fighter who is 
loved and admired by all who cherish justice and freedom.

Lynne's imprisonment made it impossible for her to attend the San 
Francisco meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the National Assembly 
to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations, of which she was a 
member  and leader. The National Assembly's weekend gathering 
unanimously approved a message of solidarity with Lynne and pledged 
continuing efforts at her freedom. Others are urged to do the same.

Lynne is an avid corespondent. She would like nothing more than to hear 
from friends and supporters. Write her at: 
Lynne Stewart 53504-054
150 Park Row
New York, New York 10007

Contributions to Lynne's defense (which are tax deductible) are urgently 
needed and  should be made payable to:

National Lawyers Guild Foundation (memo box "Lynne Stewart defense") 
Mail to:
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
350 Broadway, Suite 700
New York,  New York, 10013
*In San Francisco, we will rally today, Monday, Nov. 23 to protest 
Lynne's frame-up trial and imprisonment. Be there! (See above.)*

 In solidarity,

*Jeff Mackler*,
West Coast Coordinator,
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

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 Occupations.]

Lynne was convicted in a 2005 frame-up trial on five courts of 
conspiracy to aid and abet terroroism. The 5-month trial took place 
under the shadow of the 911 bombings and because Lynne was the diligent 
and dedicated attorney of the "blind sheik" Omar Abdul Rachman, an 
Egyptian cleric who Lynne defended as the lead counsel and as part of a 
legal team consisting of former U.S. Attormey General Ramsey Clark and 
former American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee head, Abdeen Jabarra. 
Sheik Omar, in Lynne's view was similarly a victim of U.S. reactionary 
"conspiracy laws" aimed at political dissidents.
The Second Circuit made what amounted to an unprecedented decision to 
not only affirm Lynne's 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 two days before her incarceration saw Lynne appear, along 
with her supporters at two rallies in her defense and at numerous press 
conferences and interviews, while judges and lawyers tried to ascertain 
what to do. That decision has been made and Lynne will now 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 longer sentence.
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* 
<mailto:jmackler at lmi.net>

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