A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

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.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.