A Good Lawyer Who Did a Bad Thing Gets a Break
Turns out that Monday, October 16 is Lynne Stewart's lucky day. The 67-year-old civil rights attorney and activist today recieved a 28-month prison sentence from a federal trial judge for providing material support to terrorist after she passed along information from a jailed client to his followers. She could have received 30 years, which given her recent cancer would have effectively become a life sentence.
Even her most ardent fans, and she has plenty both within and without the legal community, must concede now that Stewart did cross a line when she carried messages from Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik involved in the first attack upon the World Trade Center, to his minions around the world. Why she did it we may never know fully. That in the end she was mortified by her transgression is fairly clear from her letter to her sentencing judge.
Clearly, the judge cut Stewart a break because of her age, her health, her expression of remorse and regret, her long history of dedicated work as a defense attorney, which has to have counted for something, and because no one was harmed by her conduct. But she's lucky to get such a short sentence and she knows it and hopefully now and for the rest of her life she can rededicate herself to the things she did so well for so many decades in the law-- helping those without help.
By Andrew Cohen |
October 16, 2006; 4:45 PM ET
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Posted by: You judge. | October 16, 2006 11:56 PM
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