Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lynn Stewart, abettor of terrorists, going to jail

Perhaps Lynne Stewart should have quit while she was behind. Convicted of abetting terror while acting as an attorney for the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, Stewart had remained free on bail while appealing her conviction. Today, the federal appeals court not only upheld her conviction and revoked her bail, but they also sent the case back to the district court for reconsideration of the shockingly light 28-month sentence Stewart initially received (via JWF):

Disbarred radical lawyer Lynne Stewart is going to jail – maybe for a lot longer than she thought.

A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld her conviction for smuggling messages to her jailed terrorist client, and said she deserves more than the 28 months she got because she may have lied at her trial.

Stewart, 70, is to surrender to U.S. Marshals immediately. The Brooklyn resident has been free on bail since 2006.

Andy McCarthy, who prosecuted Rahman and faced off against Stewart in the courtroom, explains the issue of sentencing more clearly than the initial news reports:

Yes, the sentence — that’s the interesting part. The court has sent Stewart’s case back to the trial judge for reconsideration of her absurdly short 28-month jail term (after the government asked for 30 years). The sentence has divided the appellate panel. All three judges agree that the sentence needs to be reconsidered. But two judges, Sack and Calabresi, seem to be narrowing the complaint down to whether Stewart committed perjury at her trial, which — if she is found by the sentencing judge to have done so — would call for a modest increase. In dissent, Judge Walker’s point is that a 28-month sentence for the terrorism-related offenses Stewart committed is a travesty whether or not she committed perjury.

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