[Marxism] Subject: Dick Gregory to Fast Until Imprisoned Attorney Lynne Stewart is Freed

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Thu Apr 4 10:28:42 MDT 2013


*From: *Mya Shone <mshone at pacbell.net>
*Date: *April 4, 2013 9:17:39 AM PDT
*
*
*Subject: **Dick Gregory to Fast Until Imprisoned Attorney Lynne Stewart is
Freed*

*PRESS RELEASE*

Contact: Ralph Schoenman, 707.552.9992

Lil Gregory, 508.746.7427* *

* *

* *

*DICK GREGORY TO FAST UNTIL IMPRISONED ATTORNEY LYNNE STEWART IS FREED*

* *

Dick Gregory issued a declaration today, on the anniversary of the
assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., that “I shall refuse all solid
food until Lynne Stewart is freed and receives medical treatment in the
care of her family and with physicians of her choice without which she will
die.”



The 73-year-old Stewart, a renowned criminal defense attorney, is suffering
from Stage 4 cancer. Gregory, known for his social activism as much as his
for comedic wit and political commentary, has taken this step to reinforce
the worldwide petition in support of Stewart’s application for
compassionate release. Over 6,000 people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu
and Pete Seeger, have signed to date with the numbers growing by the minute.



As a criminal defense lawyer for over 30 years, Lynne Stewart defended the
poor, the disadvantaged and those targeted by the police and the State.
Such has been her reputation that judges assigned her routinely to act for
defendants whom no attorney was willing to represent. One of these was the
blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who Stewart represented
with co-counsels former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Abdeen Jabara.



In 2002, Lynne Stewart was targeted by then-President George Bush and
Attorney General John Ashcroft for providing a vigorous defense of her
client. She was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a
terrorist activity after she exercised both her and her client’s first
amendment rights by presenting a press release to a Reuters journalist.



In 2006, while the Department of Justice demanded a 30-year sentence, Judge
John Koetl, handed down a 28-month sentence noting: “By providing a
criminal defense to the poor, the disadvantaged and unpopular over three
decades, it is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart performed a public
service not only to her clients but to the nation.”



That sentence, however, was not to stand as the Second Circuit Appellate
Court, withdrew Lynne Stewart’s bail — even though her case is still before
the courts — and remanded the case back to Judge Koetl with the harsh
demand that he revisit his sentence and issue a severely enhanced one. On
July 15, 2010, Judge Koeltl increased Stewart’s sentence from 28 months to
10 years imprisonment. This has become a virtual death sentence for Lynne
Stewart.



As Gregory so eloquently states:  “The reason for the prosecution and
persecution of Lynne Stewart is evident to us all. It was designed to
intimidate the entire legal community so that few would dare to defend
political clients whom the State demonizes and none would provide a
vigorous defense. It also was designed to narrow the meaning of our
cherished first amendment right to free speech, which the people of this
country struggled to have added to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights.”



###

* *

*DECLARATION BY DICK GREGORY — APRIL 4, 2013*

* *

I hereby declare on this day commemorating the life and sacrifice of my
friend and brother in struggle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that in the
spirit of his moral legacy, I demand the immediate release from prison of
the legendary lawyer Lynne Stewart, who devoted her entire professional
life to the poor, the oppressed and those targeted by the police and a
vindictive State.



I further declare that from this day forth, I shall refuse all solid food
until Lynne Stewart is freed and receives medical treatment in the care of
her family and with physicians of her choice without which she will die.



There is no time to lose as cancer, which had been in remission, has
metastasized since her imprisonment. It has spread to her lymph nodes, her
shoulder and appears in her bones and in her lungs.



A criminal defense attorney in New York for over 30 years, Lynne Stewart’s
unwavering dedication as a selfless advocate was acknowledged by the
community as well as judges, prosecutors and the entire legal profession.
Such has been her reputation as a fearless lawyer, ready to challenge those
in power, that judges assigned her routinely to act for defendants whom no
attorney was willing to represent.



In 2002, Lynne Stewart was targeted by then-President George Bush and
Attorney General John Ashcroft for providing a vigorous defense of her
client, the blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. She was charged
with conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist activity after
she exercised both her and her client’s first amendment rights by
presenting a press release to a Reuters journalist. She did nothing more
than other attorneys, such as her co-counsel former Attorney General Ramsey
Clark, have done on behalf of their clients.



The reason for the prosecution and persecution of Lynne Stewart is evident
to us all. It was designed to intimidate the entire legal community so that
few would dare to defend political clients whom the State demonizes and
none would provide a vigorous defense. It also was designed to narrow the
meaning of our cherished first amendment right to free speech, which the
people of this country struggled to have added to the Constitution as the
Bill of Rights.



The prosecution and imprisonment of Lynne Stewart is an ominous threat to
the freedom, rights and dignity of each and every American. It is the
agenda of a police state.



I ask you to join with me to demand freedom for Lynne Stewart. An
international campaign has been launched with a petition that supports her
application for compassionate release. Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, the
Bureau of Prisons can file a motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for
extraordinary and compelling reasons.” Life threatening illness is foremost
among these and Lynne Stewart meets every rational and humane criterion for
compassionate release.



Join with me, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pete Seeger and 6,000 other people
of conscience throughout the world who have signed this petition to compel
the Warden of the Federal Medical Center, Carswell and the Director of the
Bureau of Prisons to act. Act now. There is no time to lose.



The petition (below) can be found online at the Justice for Lynne Stewart
website: www.lynnestewart.org or at

www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2

* *

PETITION TO FREE LYNNE STEWART: SAVE HER LIFE – RELEASE HER NOW!

Lynne Stewart has devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate
for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and
their rights.

Unjustly charged and convicted for the “crime” of providing her client with
a fearless defense, the prosecution of Lynne Stewart is an assault upon the
basic freedoms of us all.

After years of post-conviction freedom, her bail was revoked arbitrarily
and her imprisonment ordered, precluding surgery she had scheduled in a
major New York hospital.

The sinister meaning of the relentless persecution of Lynne Stewart is
unmistakably clear. Given her age and precarious health, the ten-year
sentence she is serving is a virtual death sentence.

Since her imprisonment in the Federal Prison in Carswell, Texas her urgent
need for surgery was delayed 18 months – so long, that the operating
physician pronounced the condition as “the worst he had seen.”

Now, breast cancer, which had been in remission prior to her imprisonment,
has reached Stage Four. It has appeared in her lymph nodes, on her
shoulder, in her bones and her lungs.

Her daughter, a physician, has sounded the alarm: “Under the best of
circumstances, Lynne would be in a battle of the most serious consequences
with dangerous odds. With cancer and cancer treatment, the complications
can be as debilitating and as dangerous as the cancer itself.”

In her current setting, where trips to physicians involve attempting to
walk with 10 pounds of shackles on her wrists and ankles, with connecting
chains, Lynne Stewart has lacked ready access to physicians and specialists
under conditions compatible with medical success.

It can take weeks to see a medical provider in prison conditions. It can
take weeks to report physical changes and learn the results of treatment;
and when held in the hospital, Lynne has been shackled wrist and ankle to
the bed.

This medieval “shackling” has little to do with any appropriate prison
control. She is obviously not an escape risk.

We demand abolition of this practice for all prisoners, let alone those
facing surgery and the urgent necessity of care and recovery.

It amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of human rights.

There is immediate remedy available for Lynne Stewart. Under the 1984
Sentencing Act, after a prisoner request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a
motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for extraordinary and compelling
reasons.” Life threatening illness is foremost among these and Lynne
Stewart meets every rational and humane criterion for compassionate release.

To misconstrue the gravamen of this compassionate release by conditioning
such upon being at death’s door – released, if at all, solely to die – is a
cruel mockery converting a prison sentence, wholly undeserved, into a death
sentence.

*The New York Times*, in an editorial (2/12), has excoriated the Bureau of
Prisons for their restrictive crippling of this program. In a 20-year
period, the Bureau released a scant 492 persons – an average of 24 a year
out of a population that exceeds 220,000.

We cry out against the bureaucratic murder of Lynne Stewart.

We demand Lynne Stewart’s immediate release to receive urgent medical care
in a supportive environment indispensable to the prospect of her survival
and call upon the Bureau of Prisons to act immediately.

If Lynne’s original sentence of 28 months had not been unreasonably,
punitively increased to 10 years, she would be home now — where her medical
care would be by her choice and where those who love her best would care
for her. Her isolation from this loving care would end.

Prevent this cruelty to Lynne Stewart whose lifelong commitment to justice
is now a struggle for her life.

Free Lynne Stewart Now!

Ralph Poynter and Family



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