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Lynne Stewart, "Preparing for Sentencing"

Preparing for Sentencing
Lynne Stewart

My Dear Supporters,

I want to thank all of you for standing by me for the past 4 years through the trial, conviction and my bout with breast cancer. Now I am preparing for sentencing on September 25, 2006. I have been fortunate to have gained strength through your support and although the strength of the "all mighty" government seems overwhelming we know we are on the right side of history.

Since the day in April 2002 when I was arrested, the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee was formed. We have accomplished great things through the committee and managed to raise awareness of my case and the issues it has raised. We have made connections to a broad base of people united at this time by the Bush/ Cheney attack on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.I am going to provide you below with excerpts from my sentencing submissions which are directed to the sentencing Judge, of course, but give you a real sense of the posture of the government towards me. That is, that I must be made an example of to deter attorneys. For this they are asking for 30 years. I am to be 67 in October.

I hope that you will continue to do what you can to support the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee. The fight is far from over and the isolation that is prison will only be pierced by the good of people who continue to fight for justice and bring attention to the excesses of the U.S. Government. At this time we would like to send a mailing which will incorporate my sentencing papers and some of the hundreds of letters that have been written on my behalf as well as report to you from the Govt's response to my sentencing memorandum which should be filed later this summer.

My Defense Committee will continue to work on my behalf through the long struggle ahead as well as work in solidarity with many other groups and individuals fighting against this government's policies and for peace and justice. Of course this takes funds and although it is very hard for me to ask, I implore you to contribute as much as you can. What follows are excerpts from the sentencing memorandum filed on my behalf.

On the evening of July 5, 2006 attorneys for Lynne Stewart filed a Sentencing Memoranda on her behalf asking for a non-custodial sentence.

The memoranda contain and refer to many of the scholarly and impassioned letters written to the Hon. John G. Koeltl on Lynne's behalf also asking for a non-custodial sentence.

The following are excerpts from the Affirmation of Elizabeth M. Fink, Esq. filed in support of Ms. Stewart's Presentencing submissions:

"...........The most chilling and horrendous aspect of Ms. Stewart's PSR (Pre-Sentence Report by U.S. Probation) is the stated justification for the 30 year sentence. 'We hope that this sentence of 30 years will not only punish Stewart for her actions, but serve as a deterrent for other lawyers who believe that they are above the rules and regulations of penal institutions or otherwise try to skirt the laws of this country.'

"......Ms. Stewart violated prison rules and, among other things, issued a press release in violation of the SAMs. Nothing happened. The recommendation of a 30-year sentence for 66-year-old women with cancer and a lifetime of service to the community is not reasonable. It is not justice. It is tyranny."

"..........As this Court can see, for decades, Ms. Stewart lead an exemplary life, a life based on community service. She changed the lives of thousands and as a lawyer, she was the finest representative of our profession. Using her skills and compassion, she restored faith in America and its justice system to thousands of people. She was a symbol of the best of the system. Working tirelessly, for little or no money, she brought light and hope to thousands and was an example to everyone who knew and knows her. Justice and mercy require that this Court examine all of the factors that apply to Ms. Stewart: her decades of selfless dedication to her profession and to her clients, friends and neighbors, her precarious medical situation, the lack of any gain to her by her actions, her mis-guided but compassionate motivations, the lack of harm caused by her actions, and the effect on present and future member of the criminal Bar of a draconian sentence. I pray that your examination will compel you to find that justice and reason mandate a non-custodial sentence."

For information and to view a copy of the submissions please contact Pat Levasseur, The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee at 212-625-9696.

Contributions to the defense committee can be made to The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee 350 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY 10013. Tax deductible contributions can be made payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation with Lynne Stewart on the memo line. Send to the same address above. You can also contribute through pay pal at our website: www.lynnestewart.org