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Lynne Stewart Petitions for Justice

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Lynne Stewart

Lynne Stewart Petitions for Justice

by Stephen Lendman

Numerous previous articles discussed her. She's one of thousands of political prisoners. They languish unjustifiably in America's gulag. They do so out of sight and mind.

Lynne's a courageous human rights lawyer. She represented numerous clients authorities wanted convicted.

She afforded them counsel they'd never have gotten without an advocate like her. Many were wrongfully charged.

It doesn't matter. They're declared guilty by accusation. Lynne met the same fate. She's imprisoned for doing the right thing. She did it courageously for 30 years.

She did before practicing law. She devoted her life to supporting society's most disadvantaged. She deserves much better than what she got.

Imprisoning one of America's best shows how low Washington has sunk. Its dark side has many forms. Its rogue agenda alone matters. It stops at nothing to achieve it.

A previous article said Obama wants Lynne dead. She's gravely ill. She's a breast cancer survivor. It reemerged. It spread. She's dying.

Vital life-saving treatment is essential. She's denied expert private care. She needed it months earlier. She desperately needs it now. It's her only chance.

She petitioned for compassionate release. America's 1984 Sentencing Act grants prisoner rights. They include reduced sentences "for extraordinary and compelling reasons."

None rise to the level of life threatening illness. Lynne's condition demands compassionate release. Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark said she "meets every legal, rational and humane criterion."

FMC Carswell warden Jody Upton recommended it. She did so based on Lynne's dire condition.

In June, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada wrote Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) director Charles Samuels, Jr. They did so on Lynne's behalf. They urgently requested he act.

Warden Upton's April 26 recommendation was "fully vetted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons," it said. "Urgently needed medical treatment arranged at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York will begin immediately on Ms Stewart’s release."

"Inexcusable delays, denials and inappropriate delivery of medical treatment while in prison have worsening Ms Stewart’s health to the point where further delay may result in death."

As Bureau of Prisons director, "you are charged with the duty of overseeing the proper administration of prisons and ensuring the safety and security of all inmates."

"A primary part of this duty is to take effective measures to prevent and punish threats to the lives of inmates."

Lynne's life "is currently threatened not only by her illness, but also by further delay."

"We urge you to immediately sign the Motion for Release on Compassionate Grounds and take all other steps to ensure the prompt filing and hearing of the motion."

Her release was denied. Duplicitous reasons were given. They didn't wash. Lies substituted for truth. It bears repeating. Obama wants Lynne dead.

In July, her attorneys petitioned federal Judge John Koeltl. They did so for "immediate conditional release." They presented documents showing Federal Bureau of Prison authorities "violated separation of powers."

The 1984 congressional Statute "assigns to the Court the right to modify a prison sentence in light of facts not available at time of trial, notably those pertaining to terminal illness."

They argued:

"The BOP has implemented its own interpretation and refused to notify the sentencing judge of objectively 'extraordinary and compelling circumstances,' including but not limited to imminent death, unless, in its own judgment, a motion should be granted."

"Between 2000 and 2008, on average, 21.3 motions were filed each year. In about 24% of those motions, the prisoner died before the district court ever had a chance to rule on the motion."

On August 9, Judge Koeltl denied Lynne. He did so disgracefully. At sentencing in 2006, he said he didn't want to impose a death sentence. He didn't want Lynne to die in prison.

He called her character "extraordinary." He said she's "a credit to her profession."

He added that longterm imprisonment would be "an unreasonable result." He cited "the somewhat atypical nature of her case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed."

He considered her age, fragile health and distinguished career. He added:

"She has represented the poor, the disadvantaged and the unpopular. (She displayed) enormous skill and dedication."

"It is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart performed a public service not only to her clients but to the nation."

Throughout her career, she upheld the highest professional standards. She defended clients to the letter of 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."

Lynne devoted her entire career to fulfilling these obligations and much more. She did so selflessly. She did honorably. She did fearlessly. She did unswervingly. She did it because it matters.

Her attorney Jill Shellow continues her fight for justice. In August, she said Judge Koeltl's denial "is hardly the end of this fight."

"Lynne is going to continue to actively pursue a compassionate release through the BOP, and we expect to be back in court, and hope it will be sooner rather than later."

On September 21, headlined "SIGN THE NEW PETITION FOR LYNNE!"

Sign it now:

It's "an escalated (second) effort to secure" Lynne's compassionate release. She submitted a new application. On September 6, FMC Carswell warden Jody Upton "sanctioned and forwarded her papers to the Bureau of Prisons headquarters in Washington, DC."

All pretexts to deny her are removed. No more excuses. No more duplicitous explanations. No more delays. No more denying Lynne long overdue justice.

"(W)e summor Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. to act appropriately and expeditiously: Review Lynne Stewart's new application."

Warden Upton supports it. So do legions of Lynne's supporters worldwide. Order Lynne's release on compassionate grounds. Do it straightaway without delay.

Throughout her career, she was mostly well known locally. Wrongfully charging her got national attention. Convicting and imprisoning her got people worldwide to notice.

Letting her die in prison will afford her the highest form of martyr status. She'll be remembered and revered generations from now.

She's already admired globally. The longer she's denied justice, the more supporters she attracts.

Judge Koeltl's on record saying he'll respond immediately to BOP's release order if received.

He can have Lynne freed straightaway. He can have her heading home for urgent treatment.

New York's Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center officials are ready to start treatment the moment she arrives. They'll afford her what prison authorities deny.

In July, a BOP oncologist gave her 18 months to live. Doing so meets the guidelines for immediate compassionate release.

Two months were wasted. Lynne keeps deteriorating. She deserves to live and much more.

Sign the new petition:

Do it straightaway. Do it because it matters. Send it to others. Urge them to support Lynne's fight for life and justice.

Over 30,000 people signed Lynne's first petition. Her supporters include prominent organizations and world figures. They include legions of people worldwide who care.

On October 8, Lynne will be 74. "(E)mbrace her with our energy and support." Free her now! "An affront to one is an affront to all," says Lynne.

Throughout her life, she worked tirelessly for justice. She's a role model for what's right. Imprisonment condemns her to death.

Every day there compounds a monstrous state-sponsored crime against humanity.

Lynne deserves compassion in her time of need. She deserves that much and more.

We're all Lynne Stewart. Her struggle is ours. Denying her justice forsakes everyone. Join the fight to free her. Do it now. Do it because it matters.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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