[Marxism] Protest Lynne Stewart's Incarceration Today!
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")
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.)*
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,
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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