February 23, 2012
Lynne was wrongfully indicted, convicted, sentenced, and given a far harsher one unjustifiably on appeal.
On February 29, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguments will be presented. She won't be there, but hopes massive support will turn out for her at the:
500 Pearl Street
Manhattan, New York
She can be reached as follows:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Ft. Worth, TX 76127
Her full appeal brief discusses all relevant facts about her and her case. It includes her character, commitment, honor, and dedication to justice as the law demands but didn't afford her.
She discusses her appeal as follows:
"After the disaster in July 2010, when Judge Koeltl, following the directives of the Second Circuit increased my sentence from 28 months to 10 years, our righteous indignation fueled this appeal. The government’s argument will center on my testimony at trial and the alleged perjury. All of those facts were before the Court at the time of the 28 month sentence and were not the basis then of a double digit sentence."
"Our Brief attacks the increased sentence on two different fronts –one on a doctrine of "substantive unreasonableness" meaning it’s just too much of an increase, five fold — given the circumstances. Secondly, we argued that the only "new" information before the Judge were my statements after my first sentence in October of 2008 and remarks I made on the Courthouse steps before I surrendered to prison. We contend strongly that this is protected speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and cannot be used to increase or as a basis for sentencing. (even if they hate it !!!)"
"The same group of 3 Judges that heard and decided the original appeal will also hear the arguments on the 29th. The government is not asking for more time; they are satisfied with their pound of flesh but it is not likely that this Court will take any action that will help me. The times are askew for prisoners and their lawsuits."
The lawyers that argued in July of 2010 will be on board with the addition of Herald Price Fahringer, an eminent attorney in the First Amendment field (the win in the Larry Flynt Hustler case in the US Supreme Court was his. He was also in the line of fire (no injuries) when the shooting took place.) He will enthusiastically present our case. I will not be present –not unusual once imprisoned. But my spirit will be there to inspire !!!"
"Of course, my case has always been government firing warning shots to Lawyers, that a vigorous defense, of certain clients, if not conforming to government specifications, will be punished severely. This chill effect in these days that we are confronted with Grand Jury investigations and dismantling of Occupations is not something we should contemplate with anything less than alarm."
"I have just finished David Gilbert’s book (Love Struggle) and the intercession of lawyers when there are arrests of designated enemies of the "state" are the only meaningful protection available."
"A Large Outpouring of Support in Foley Square and Tom Paine Park and in the Courtroom will signal to these arbiters of "Justice" that attention must be paid, the 99% are watching them with suspicion and tallying up the roads not taken."
A Final Comment
For 30 years, Stewart worked tirelessly defending America's poor, underprivileged, and unwanted. They're never afforded due process and judicial fairness without an advocate like her.
Where others wouldn't go, she did courageously, defending controversial figures like Weather Underground's David Gilbert, United Freedom Front's Richard Williams, Black Liberation Army members Sekou Odinga and Nasser Ahmed, and many more like them. She knew the risks, but took them fearlessly and courageously until wrongfully indicted for doing her job.
Her case sent a chilling message to other lawyers that it's dangerous defending unpopular clients ruthless prosecutors want to convict.
Throughout her career, she scrupulously observed the American Bar Association's Model Rules. They obligate lawyers to:
"devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel."
She did that and much more. She's a model attorney and human being. Now she's wrongfully imprisoned for 10 years. On February 29, her skilled legal team will argue persuasively for justice. For Lynne, it's long overdue.
Her original sentence was unjust. Increasing it fourfold constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment prohibits it.
A single prison day ignores her lifetime commitment to community, the rule of law, society's poor, underprivileged and unwanted, and the profession she chose to represent them honorably and courageously.
Many worldwide support Lynne. This writer's proud to call her a friend. On February 29, join others in Manhattan's federal court on her behalf.
Lynne says her case is "bigger than just (her) personally." She'll always struggle for justice and urges others to as well in her signature comment, saying:
"Organize - Agitate, Agitate, Agitate."
And be sure to write her and show up on February 29.