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Lynne Stewart Petitions for Release

by Stephen Lendman
police state
Lynne Stewart Petitions for Release

by Stephen Lendman

A personal note. Lynne's a friend. So is husband Ralph Poynter. Before her imprisonment, they came on my radio program. We discussed her case.

Ralph's been on several times since. He's invited back any time on short notice. Justice for Lynne matters most. She's one of America's best.

Her treatment reveals America's dark side. Cruel and unusual punishment is official policy. So is gross injustice.

Lynne's unjustly imprisoned. She committed no crimes. It's for doing her job. She did so honorably for 30 years. She's an internationally renown human rights defender.

She's dying. She has Stage Four cancer. It's spreading. It affects multiple parts of her body. It's killing her.

Obama wants her dead. He wants her silenced. He wants equity, justice and freedom abolished. He wants critics imprisoned. He enforces police state harshness.

On July 31, Lynne discussed her court hearing. Her attorneys petitioned Judge John Koeltl for "immediate conditional release."

They did so pending consideration of legal issues presented. Koetl asked why employ a one-time emergency motion. Because Lynne's dying, they said.

Time's short. It's running out. Delay assures she'll die. Compassionate release is essential. It's morally, ethically and legally right.

Prosectors claimed Koeltl has no standing. They cited the 1984 Sentencing Act. They want Lynne dead. They fabricated charges against her.

They demanded a higher sentence than Koeltl initially imposed. They forced him on appeal to increase it to 10 years.

Lynne's 73. She's ill. She's dying. Her sentence assures death. Husband Ralph calls Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell "a death camp." It doesn't treat. It denies potentially life-saving care.

Defense attorneys presented documents showing Federal Bureau of Prison authorities "violated separation of powers."

The 1984 congressional Statute "assigns to the Court the right to modify a prison sentence in light of facts not available at time of trial, notably those pertaining to terminal illness."

They argued:

"The BOP has implemented its own interpretation and refused to notify the sentencing judge of objectively 'extraordinary and compelling circumstances,' including but not limited to imminent death, unless, in its own judgment, a motion should be granted."

"Between 2000 and 2008, on average, 21.3 motions were filed each year. In about 24% of those motions, the prisoner died before the district court ever had a chance to rule on the motion."

Lynne's suffering. She's dying. She doesn't want to die in prison. She doesn't want it to be from neglect.

She deserves reconsideration. She deserves immediate compassionate release. Thousands worldwide support her.

She's one of America's best. She champions justice. She did so her entire life. She deserves the right to live.

She deserves freedom. She deserves justice. She deserves what she's been denied. She deserves it now.

Judge Koeltl gave federal attorneys until August 6 to explain why Bureau of Prison authorities refused to explain why they denied her. They refused to release documents doing so.

Lynne's attorneys have one day to respond. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday, August 8 at 2PM.

On August 5, The New York Times headlined "Dying Lawyer Asks Judge to Free Her From Prison," saying:

"(O)utspoken defense lawyer is fighting her final battle. In her long (legal) career, (she) tireless(ly) champion(ed)" unfairly treated clients prosecutors wanted to convict.

Without an advocate like her, they never had a chance. Doing the right thing is its own reward. Lynne never forgot.

She practiced what she preached. She did so honorably. Defending wrongfully convicted Sheik Oman Abdel Rahman (the so-called blink cleric) proved her undoing. She did so on appeal. She was part of former Attorney General Ramsey Clark's defense team.

Trumped up charges targeted her. They were baseless. Secret evidence was presented at trial. It had no validity. Witnesses unrelated to the case testified. Some did anonymously.

Jurors were intimidated to convict. It didn't matter. Other fabricated charges would have followed exoneration.

Prosecutors wanted Lynne convicted. They wanted her imprisoned. They stop at nothing to get what they want. They want her dead. They're going all out to assure it.

Lynne's attorney Jill Shellow told The Times:

Lynne's treatment reflects "cruel and unusual excessive" punishment. "This is not about (an) underlying crime."

"It has nothing to do with Lynne's conduct. This has to do with how we as a society treat human beings who are dying."

According to The Times:

"A spokeswoman for the United States attorney's office declined to comment." So did the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy was Lynne's adversary during Rahman's 1995 trial proceedings.

He lacks compassion. He's unsympathetic. He's unforgiving. He's unconcerned about Lynne dying in prison.

"We permit harsh sentences because people disposed to commit atrocious crimes would otherwise commit many more of them, killing and imperiling innocent people," he said.

As for Lynne, he said he "prefer(s) to keep (his) thoughts to (himself)." He abstained from doing the right thing. He ignored justice.

He doesn't care if Lynne lives or dies. He's part of an ugly system. It spurns justice. It's a non-starter. It's consider it quaint and out-of-date.

Bureau of Prison authorities can release Lynne today. So can Judge Koeltl. Extraordinary compelling reasons demand it.

Lynne deserves universal support. She deserves that much and more.

On July 25 she wrote:

"By Now we will have filed papers which take us back into Federal Court in New York City to request that Judge Koeltl overturn the barbaric decision by the Bureau of Prisons and allow me to leave this empty loveless Prison and go home to People and Places familiar and beloved."

I certainly am sick enough - even my oncologist revised her prognosis down to 18 months now."

"However, my spirit remains undaunted and when I compare myself to other far worse off than I am - the Guantanamo and Pelican Bay prisoners, Marie Mason, Afra Siddiqui, Hugo Yogi Pinell, those under death penalty like Kevin Cooper, the remaining Angola 2, Ruchel Magee and my fellow New Yorkers Jalil, Sekou, Herman, Seth, David, Abdul - let me stop before I choke up here."

"I know we MUST win my fight and the struggle for all other political prisoners to be freed. And then we must struggle for all to be free in this country."

"How much can we, the People, take? Their austerity is barbaric cruelty with food stamps gone and public housing unavailable, permanently."

"How long can the 1% continue to rule and the corporations call the shots?"

"There is so much wrong but we are not allowed to despair since we have been given sight in this land of the blind and hopeless and heartless."

"So, that said, let's once again get out there as often as needs be - for all the causes, for all the humanity. For the future. Forward, ever Forward!!"


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at]

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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