Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart gets 28-month sentence for helping terror client

[JURIST] Convicted civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart [defense website] received a sentence of 28 months Monday. Stewart was convicted [JURIST report; JURIST video] of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists [18 USC 2339A text] for helping imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman [Wikipedia profile] communicate with his terrorist followers. Stewart was also convicted of defrauding the government for violating rules that had been put in place to prevent Abdel-Rahman from communicating with the outside world following his 1995 conviction of seditious conspiracy for plotting to blow up several New York city landmarks. A federal judge upheld Stewart's conviction [JURIST report] late last year, dismissing her arguments that Abdel-Rahman was engaging in protected speech when he expressed opinions about an Egyptian ceasefire which Stewart passed along in a press release.

Prosecutors sought the maximum sentence [JURIST report] for Stewart of 30 years, claiming Stewart deserves severe punishment for her "egregious, flagrant abuse of her profession." Stewart, however, repeatedly claimed that she "is not a traitor" in a letter [PDF text] written to District Judge John Koetl of the Southern District of New York [official website], maintaining that she was only advocating for her client, Abdel-Rahman. AP has more.



 

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