Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Updating Lynne Stewart's "Love Struggle:" Part II

Updating Lynne Stewart's "Love Struggle:" Part II - by Stephen Lendman

Human rights attorney Stewart spent her career observing the American Bar Association's Model Rules, saying all lawyers must:

"devote professional time and resources and use civil 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."

Also to practice law ethically, morally and responsibly to assure everyone gets due process and judicial fairness, what the poor, underprivileged, society's unwanted rarely ever are afforded unless lucky enough to have an advocate like her. What failed her after being bogusly indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and jailed, awaiting final sentencing in July, perhaps later for reasons of health. More on that below.

Stewart (prison number 53504-054) is at:

MCC-NY
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

Supporters can write her there and send letters about her resentencing to:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
350 Broadway
Suite 700
New York, NY 10007

Address them (but don't send directly) to:

Honorable John G. Koeltl
United States District Judge
Southern District of New York
500 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10007

Stewart's defense committee will send them to Judge Koeltl, at issue being not to lengthen her 28 month sentence, the Justice Department wanting 30 years, despite her innocence on all charges and lifetime of dedicated service, well known to prosecutors and the judiciary, besides her legion of supporters, this writer proudly among them.

On June 16, posted on lynnestewart.org, the web site maintained for her, husband Ralph Poynter noted the "the deep contradictions of the system," calling it "an obscenity and an affront to fundamental fairness," and a threat to all lawyers who defend unpopular clients too vigorously, ones prosecutors target to convict, even those clearly innocent.

"Lynne Stewart deserves justice....equal justice under law," said Poynter, what everyone deserves but too few get in America's unjust system, sparing criminal insiders, not easy poor, underprivileged targets, putting a lie to the rule of law and a government of, by and for the people, what it never was and isn't today under a bipartisan criminal class, headed by a president protecting privilege from beneficial social change.

Targeting A Defender of Human Rights and Judicial Fairness

For issuing a legitimate press release on behalf of her client, Lynne was bogusly charged with:

-- "conspiring to defraud the United States;

-- conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorist activity;

-- providing and concealing material support to terrorist activity; and

-- two counts of making false statement."

On February 10, 2005, she was convicted, appealed, remained free on bond, then ordered incarcerated on November 19, 2009, awaiting resentencing. A full account of her case can be accessed through the following links, the lower one with a section on the Appeals Court ruling:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2008/04/lynne-stewarts-long-struggle-for.html.

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/04/updating-lynne-stewarts-love-struggle.html.

Lynne's Health

Jeff Mackler, Stewart Defense Committee West Coast Coordinator, updated her condition, explaining that a regularly scheduled breast cancer check revealed a spot on her liver.

She wanted a biopsy done by her own doctor at her own hospital, (Roosevelt Hospital, New York). Instead it was performed at "a notoriously inferior facility," taking a week compared to Roosevelt's same day, more reliable results.

Worse still, except during examination and procedure, she was painfully shackled and handcuffed by order of Obama administration prosecutors, "making rest and sleep virtually impossible."

Back in MCC prison, her attorneys filed for resentencing postponement, citing health concerns that will impede her ability to participate in her own defense, what she's able, eager and legally allowed to do.

New York Law Journal on Lynne's Resentencing

On June 16, Law.com posted Mark Hamblett's update, covering DOJ and defense lawyers' resentencing positions, explained in detailed materials filed.

In their 155-page memorandum, Southern District Assistant US Attorneys Andrew S. Dember and Michael D. Maimin's accused Stewart of perjuring herself several times, notably when she said a "bubble" protected her attorney status in issuing a press release on her client, what defense counsels routinely do with no recriminations, what perhaps for the time ever, Bush administration prosecutors used against Lynne bogusly and unjustly, Obama administration ones proving just as ruthless.

According to the DOJ memorandum:

"The evidence at trial irrefutably proved that Stewart knew that she was committing perjury by offering such testimony," arguing for terrorism enhancement to dramatically increase her sentence to the 30 year statutory maximum, or at least far more than 28 months, when, in fact, one day is too much.

In response, defense lawyers Elizabeth M. Fink and Jill R. Shellow called Judge Koeltl's original sentence "reasonable and just," despite Stewart's innocence of all charges - judicial fairness warranting a full exoneration, readmitting her to the bar, and providing compensation for her bogus prosecution and false imprisonment.

Fink and Shellow addressed only her resentencing, calling its lengthening "dramatically unreasonable... overstat(ing) the seriousness" of prosecution charges.

"Moreover, this court's determination to grant a variance from the guideline sentence based in part on the unreasonable effect of the terrorism enhancement as applied to Stewart was reasonable and proper, and is an approach that has been approved by other courts."

At issue is the three-judge Appeals Court ruling, accusing her of lying, calling for a longer sentence, and remanding her case to Judge Koeltl for reconsideration, putting strong pressure on him to comply, even though on sentencing he called Lynne's character "extraordinary," saying 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...."

Also that terrorism enhancement was "dramatically unreasonable (because it grossly) overstate(d) the seriousness of (her) conduct and the likelihood that (she would) repeat the offense." A harsh sentence would equate her with "repeat felony offenders for the most serious offenses including murder and drug trafficking."

Any sentence, in fact, is a grave miscarriage of justice for a woman who devoted her entire career to defending human rights, due process, judicial fairness, and the rule of law, what DOJ prosecutors defile, placing everyone but the privileged in jeopardy.

For doing her job honorably, ethically, responsibly, and pro bono when asked, Lynne was imprisoned to discredit, silence, and disbar her, as well as intimidate other lawyers not to defend unpopular clients too vigorously or face similar treatment, Judge Koeltl to rule at resentencing, hopefully affirming his original decision, despite enormous pressure to be harsher.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.