Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lynne Stewart, released 2014-02

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee [www.lynnestewart.org], [1070 Dean Street Brooklyn, New York 11216].  Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator [510-268-9429]

(petition is out-of-date, kept for archival purposes)
Extremely Urgent: Please sign the petition NOW for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart!
Lynne's very life is at stake and it's not too late to save it. She has asked to be sent to a top-notch hospital in New York City where state of the art and hopeful treatment can be employed to beat back and cure the metastasized breast cancer that has now spread to her lungs and upper back. Lynne has Stage 4 lung cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy now, being transferred back and forth from FMC Carswell to a local Forth Worth,Texas area hospital.
She is a fighter and has been told by her physician that there is still hope to live. This is especially the case if she receives treatment in her original NYC hospital. Meanwhile her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to certify that they will hear her case is in preparation.
Please also send your email address to Lynne's husband at: Ralph.Poynter@yahoo.com AND also to me at: jmackler@lmi.net
Ralph heads up the national Lynne Stewart Organization and I am the West Coast Coordinator of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee and a 50-year friend of Lynne We will add your email to our respective lists to keep you posted.
Contributions to Lynne's defense can be mailed to:
Lynne Stewart Organization [1070 Dean  Street, Brooklyn, New  York 11216]
In solidarity, [signed] Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
2013-04-01 update about 'Petition to Free Lynne Stewart: Save Her Life - Release Her Now!' on Change.org:
5,600 and counting! Individuals are reaching out to their friends, family and colleagues. Organizations are reaching out to their members. People throughout the world are joining together in the effort to free Lynne Stewart.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent this Cri de Coeur: “It is devastating, totally unbelievable. Is this in a democracy, the only superpower? I am sad. I will sign. Praying God’s blessings on yr efforts.” +Desmond Tutu
Pete Seeger declared: “Lynn Stewart should be outa jail!” on a postcard signed “old Pete Seeger” accompanied by a drawing of his banjo.
Your outpouring of support has lifted Lynne’s spirits as she undergoes the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. On March 20, she sent this message to each and every one of you from her seven-person cell in the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas:
“I want you, individually, to know how gratifying and happy it makes me to have your support. It is uplifting, to say the least, and after a lifetime of organizing it proves once again that the People can rise.
“The acknowledgement of the life-political, and solutions brought about by group unity and support, is important to all of us. Equally, so is the courage to sign on to a demand for a person whom the Government has branded with the ‘T’ word — Terrorist. Understanding that the attack on me is a subterfuge for an attack on all lawyers who advocate without fear of Government displeasure, with intellectual honesty guided by their knowledge and their client’s desire for his or her case, I hope our effort can be a crack in the American bastion. Thank you.” — Lynne
Lynne Stewart devoted over 30 years of her life to helping others as a criminal defense lawyer. She defended the poor, the disadvantaged and those targeted by the police and the State. Such had 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.
Now Lynne Stewart needs our urgent help or she may die in prison. Our determination can compel the Bureau of Prisons to file the motion for compassionate release that will free Lynne Stewart.
Check out the Justice for Lynne Stewart website www.lynnestewart.org to view the signatories (up to 03/31/13), the postcard from Pete Seeger, Archbishop Tutu’s message as well as Lynne Stewart’s letter back to him, and much more.
Remind your friends to sign the petition and to disseminate it to others. Ask each person to get five people to sign, and each of those five to ask five people of their own. In five stages, you will have reached another 3,000 people!

 Here is the link to read and sign the whole petition: [http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2]
 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

With Margarita Rosario (on the left) and Cindy Sheehan (in the middle):

Dick Gregory Supports Lynne Stewart
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:
Contacts: Lil Gregory at 508.746.7427 to schedule interviews with Dick Gregory and Ralph Schoenman at 707.552.9992 for follow up information on Dick Gregory and the Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart.

A public forum "Lynne Stewart Must Not Die!"
 A public forum to save the life and win the freedom of radical attorney Lynne Stewart, suffering from
 Stage 4 lung cancer
 • Victim of a government frame-up conviction on charges of aiding and abetting terrorism •Imprisoned for ten years for defending
 the civil liberties and democratic rights of the Egyptian cleric (the “blind sheik’)  Omar Abdel Rachman
 • Lynne has Stage 4 lung cancer and is seeking “compassionate release” to the New York City hospital that treated her original and now metastasized breast cancer.  Citing “prison regulations” at FMC Carswell in Forth Worth, Texas, the warden denied release on the grounds that their medical experts claim that Lynne does not fall under this release program because she has at least two years to live before being overtaken by her metastasized cancer. Lynne’s medical experts say that if she is allowed the state-of-the-art treatment available today, she can recover. Meanwhile Lynne’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her case is pending.
 • Lynne is a lifelong civil liberties attorney, social justice and human rights activist, coordinating committee member of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)  and a member of the National Lawyers Guild
 Hear:  Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee; lifelong friend of Lynne Stewart; director, The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal; Administrative Committee, UNAC
 Saturday, April 6, 2 PM
 Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists , 1924 Cedar at Bonita, Berkeley
 Sponsors: Lynne Stewart Defense Committee, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, UNAC, Donation requested, Contact: 510-268-9429, jmackler@lmi.net

2012-09-26 "Court denies Lynne Stewart a re-hearing" by Jeff Mackler

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
 On Monday, September 24, 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected Lynne's appeal for a re-hearing before the entire court. Her original conviction was upheld in 2009 by a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit's opinion was not unexpected. This was the same court that earlier pressed Federal District Court John Koeltl to re-consider his original 28-month sentence and instead sentence Lynne to ten years.
 Lynne, a leading civil rights attorney for 30 years, was convicted in 2005 on frame-up charges of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism. Her crime? She issued a press release on behalf of her client, the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel Rachman, a leading Egyptian Islamic cleric, was also a victim of the U.S. "war on terror" when a government-instigated frame-up trial convicted him of conspiracy to destroy New York buildings. Typical of "conspiracy" convictions, no evidence of wrongdoing was presented at his trial.
 Rachman, a leading critic of the Hosni Mubarack dictatorship in Egypt, and now serving a life sentence in Rochester, Minnesota, was the subject of national attention a few months ago when Egypt's new president, Mohammad Morsi, embarrassed the Obama administration by demanding his release.
 Lynne's attorneys explained on Monday that "The clock now starts running on our Petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court. We have 90 days to get it filed (with the possibility of a 30-day extension)."
 Lynne is presently imprisoned at FMC Carswell outside of Fort Worth, Texas. She has successfully recovered from a difficult surgery that was spitefully delayed by prison authorities.
 For the past 45 days Lynne was denied all visitors, and other basic prison rights on the trumped-up accusation that she violated prison rules in assisting a fellow prisoner certify a legal document.
 Her spirits are high and she is now going through a backlog of some 100-plus letters from friends and supporters.
 Here's a brief summary/timeline of Lynne's case.
 --indicted on April 9, 2002;
 --on February 10, 2005, convicted on all counts of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism;
 --on October, 17, 2006, sentenced to 28 months;
 --on November 17, 2009, a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit three-judge panel upheld the conviction, shamelessly accusing Lynne of "knowingly and willfully making false statements," re-directing her case to District Court Judge John Koeltl for re-sentencing, instructing him to consider enhancements for terrorism, perjury, and abuse of her position as a lawyer - an outrageous mandate intimidating Koeltl to comply.
 --on November 19, 2009, Stewart jailed at MCC-NY, 150 Park Row, New York, NY; and
 --on July 15, 2010, Stewart re-sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for doing her job honorably, ethically, and admirably with distinction for 30 years.
 Disgracefully, Judge Koeltl explained it, saying: ."(C)omments by Stewart in 2006, including a statement in a television interview that she would do 'it' again and would not 'do anything differently' influenced (the) decision--indicat(ing) the original sentence 'was not sufficient' to reflect the goals of sentencing guidelines."
 Forgotten were Koeltl's October 2006 comments, calling Lynne's character "extraordinary," saying she was "a credit to her profession," and that a long imprisonment would be "an unreasonable result," citing "the somewhat atypical nature of her case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed."
 He also considered her age (70), health (at times poor), distinguished career representing society's disadvantaged and unwanted, and the unlikelihood she'd commit another "crime." However, the Second Circuit Appeals Court intimidated him to comply, his own career perhaps on the line otherwise.

No comments:

Post a Comment