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Lynne Stewart Update

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,

Immediately following an uplifting rally, Lynne Stewart was escorted by a determined crowd of supporters to jail and is now incarcerated in the Manhattan Correctional Center.  As fortune would have it, she will be there for at least 10 months, perhaps longer, that is, a good part the total term of 28 months.  If other events don’t intervene, it is possible that her entire term might be served at the MCC.  “Better there than a federal prison,” her husband Ralph told me yesterday, “because the facilities are ‘better’ and visiting is easier on the family.”

Lynne has lost her initial appeal to the Second Circuit to have her scheduled December 6 surgery at Lennox Hill Hospital.  Instead the courts insist that it be at a NY facility associated with the prison system.  Lynne’s request to have her medical doctor daughter observe the operation was similarly denied.

Lynne’s new sentencing hearing is set for December 2 before Judge John Koeltl, the same judge who originally sentenced Lynne to 28 months when government prosecutors sought 30 years.  Again, we can only guess what Koeltl will do.  But Lynne’s attorneys are optimistic that he will stick to his guns and not accede to the Second Circuit’s recommendation that Lynne get 80 months based on their insistence that Koeltl did not factor into his sentence the possibility that Lynne perjured herself during her trial testimony.  We also don’t know whether Koeltl will just hear the arguments on December 2 or hear them and make a decision.

In any case, if Koeltl does NOT add to Lynne’s 28-month sentence, government prosecutors are expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for a longer sentence.  The battle for her freedom continues, of course; Lynne will be appealing her conviction, as well as any possible lengthening of her sentence, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lynne’s parting words brought tears of joy to the New York rally.  She pointed to the urgency of winning Mumia’s freedom and fighting against new efforts at Mumia’s execution.  She reminded us of Joe Hill’s admonition, “Don’t Mourn!  Organize!”  Pam Africa, leader of the fight for Mumia’s freedom, was present and prominent among Lynne’s many supporters at this inspiring and tragic sendoff of a fighter who is loved and admired by all who cherish justice and freedom.

Lynne’s imprisonment made it impossible for her to attend the San Francisco meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations, of which she was a member and leader.  The National Assembly’s weekend gathering unanimously approved a message of solidarity with Lynne and pledged continuing efforts at her freedom.  Others are urged to do the same.

Lynne is an avid correspondent.  She would like nothing more than to hear from friends and supporters.  Write her at:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
150 Park Row
New York, New York 10007

Contributions to Lynne’s defense (which are tax deductible) are urgently needed and should be made payable to: National Lawyers Guild Foundation (memo box “Lynne Stewart defense”).  Mail to:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
350 Broadway, Suite 700
New York, New York, 10013

For further information contact: Jeff Mackler, Coordinator, West Coast Lynne Stewart Defense Committee 510-268-9429, <>.

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