January 1, 2014

"Dying Lawyer Convicted Of Aiding Terrorism Leaves Prison."

Lynne Stewart, 74, released because she has, doctors say, less than 18 months to live.  
In 2005, Stewart was convicted of helping blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with followers while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up landmarks in New York City....

She was not scheduled to be released until 2018.
More here:
Ms. Stewart, in a 12-page handwritten letter to the judge during the summer, said she did not want to die in prison, “a strange and loveless place,” as she put it. “I want to be where all is familiar — in a word, home.”

59 comments:

David said...

Hell is also a strange and loveless place. Like the penguins, Ms. Stewart seems to have no concept of it.

Unknown said...

Unbelievable. Terrorist victims would love another 18 months to live. She was convicted. She was sentenced. Now serve the time. How many prisoners have died while serving time for their crimes? I have feeling this may turn out to be another Lockerbie bomber situation where the criminal ends up living well passed the doctor's expert opinion. I had a professor who was defending Lynn in court. Lynn was unrepentant and my professor felt she did nothing wrong--just advocating for her client. Crazy. Now it's double crazy.

dbp said...

Does this line of reasoning apply to all prisoners? Should they all get out of prison early if they have a terminal illness?

What happens if she greatly outlives the less than 18 months estimate?

PB Reader said...

Let her rot.

Robert Cook said...

Her conviction and imprisonment were a travesty of justice to begin with. Bravo to whomever granted her the release from prison.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I see not the slightest argument for clemency. This terrorist should die in prison, alone. She deserves it.

I would allow it under one circumstance. If she is still alive eighteen months from now, her life should be terminated.

traditionalguy said...

We all have a terminal illness. 18 months could become 18 years.

Skyler said...

Isn't that the same reason the man convicted of the Pan Am bombing was released many years ago? Last I heard he was still alive and laughing at the west.

virgil xenophon said...

What Tyrone said!

James said...

Isn't that the same reason the man convicted of the Pan Am bombing was released many years ago? Last I heard he was still alive and laughing at the west.

The Pan Am bomber died in 2012; or at least someone similarly named.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/world/africa/abdel-basset-ali-al-megrahi-lockerbie-bomber-dies-at-60.html

"Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of an American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died in Libya, family members told news agencies on Sunday, nearly three years after Scotland released him on humanitarian grounds, citing evidence that he was near death with metastatic prostate cancer. He was 60. "

donald said...

One thing we will always be able to say about Lynn Stewart, she sure ain't no piece of ass.

That's for sure.

Dr Weevil said...

I've heard of letting the most vicious mobsters out to die at home when doctors estimate they have less than a week to live. But 18 months? Is Obama, and everyone who works for him, insane? Or is he literally working for the other side? (You can take that last question politically, religiously, theologically, or all three.)

Dr Weevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

She should have done the time. Lots of prisoners don't want to die in jail...

Quayle said...

Another so-called principled freedom and equality loving elite not giving a crap about equal treatment before the law.

They just want what they want and to hell with the others.

But, actually, upon further consideration, I guess I'd have to admit that Ms. Steward cares deeply about equal treatment. She probably believes that all other dying inmates should be released too.

It's just that those other African American and Hispanic inmates - the one's serving ridiculous minimum sentences - can't write as persuasively as she can.

And that's not her fault, it is?

Should she be penalized because that sunnabitch Reagan cut funding for education in the poorer sections of America?

hoyden said...

I am surprised Stewart went to prison. Why didn't Stewart get the conviction set aside by the Holder DOJ, just like the NBP case? Maybe this is the Obama/Holder way of saying "thanks" for playing.

Crimso said...

"Keep your eye on the sparrow"

Illuninati said...

Last I heard, predicting how long someone with breast cancer will survive is very difficult. Will she go back to prison if she is still functioning well in 18 months?

Dr Weevil said...

"Will she go back to prison if she is still functioning well in 18 months?" That's not good enough. If "less than 18 months to live" is a medical fact, she and her doctors shouldn't object to it being enforced: if she's still alive in 17 months and 29 days, she gets a lethal injection, a noose, or a firing squad - her choice.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Illuninati,

The linked article says that it has spread to her lungs and bones, in which case I'm amazed that any doctor would give her as long as 18 months. If it has gotten that far, it's likely everywhere.

She apparently already had been diagnosed with the cancer when she was sentenced, in 2006.

That said, this is ridiculous. How many other people likely to die in the next year and a half are released from prison because they'd really rather die at home?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Dr Weevil, Tyrone Slothrop beat you to it.

(A propos of nothing, when are you going to start blogging again?)

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It takes some brass balls to use the construction "I want....".

I discourage even my kids from using that phrase. It's rude and presumptuous, to assume that anyone cares what you "want." And my kids are lovely innocent darlings, not {purportedly} unrepentant convicted criminals responsible for the deaths of others.

madAsHell said...

She's dying of cancer? If she leaves prison, then am I still paying for her health care?

yeah....I already know the answer.

Illuninati said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
Illuninati,

"The linked article says that it has spread to her lungs and bones, in which case I'm amazed that any doctor would give her as long as 18 months. If it has gotten that far, it's likely everywhere."

Some cancers are more predictable than others. For instance pancreatic cancer moves forward relentlessly. Breast cancer is more variable. Perhaps oncologists have improved in their ability to predict survival rates to 100% extinction but I wonder. 18 months out is a long time and a lot can happen during that time.

elkh1 said...

But even in prison she would die in one piece, unlike her client's bomb victims.

BigFire said...

Can we make sure she dies within 18 months? Unlike the Pam-Am bomber that managed to live for a long long time?

William said...
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Michael K said...

I agree with everyone but Cook. I am anticipating Obama's pardon of the blind sheik before he leaves office.

khesanh0802 said...

Hard to have sympathy with someone who is an accomplice to murder.

William said...

If Sirhan Sirhan had murdered a Republican, he would long ago have been paroled. They couldn't even get a guilty verdict against the guy who shot Reagan.

William said...

Manson has been looking poorly lately. That man is no conceivable threat to anyone. Let us show that we're bigger men than he and allow him to spend his last few years in the sunshine.

Tarrou said...

Any takers she lives for five more years?

hombre said...

She didn't "want" to die in prison.

And that, after all, is what it's all about, right, Judge, what the imprisoned terrorist "wants."

Beldar said...
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Beldar said...

She may still have a law degree, but she's no longer a lawyer. She was automatically disbarred based on her felony conviction, and that is as it should be.

I don't agree with compassionate releases in cases like hers.

virgil xenophon said...

@hpmbre/

If I'd have been the judge I'd have given her request the reply my Mother (and her generation) always gave me as a child when I "wanted" some outrageously expensive toy; "Yeah, People in Hell want ice-water, too."

hawkeyedjb said...

Cook, was it a travesty because she was falsely convicted? Or because it shouldn't be considered a crime to assist a violent criminal?

Gahrie said...

Her conviction and imprisonment were a travesty of justice to begin with. Bravo to whomever granted her the release from prison.

Hey Bob you are wrong on this one. Why are you supporting her anyway...she is a dupe for Islamic terrorism....not a dupe for Communist terrorism.

Skeptical Voter said...

Let's just say that I hope that both Helen Thomas and Lynn Stewart are among the 72 virgins awaiting Muslim homicide bomber
Abdul Ibn Bombing. All three will be disappointed.

Clyde said...

"Less than 18 months to live"? I wonder if their prognosis/WAG is better than the Scottish one on the Lockerbie bomber from Libya? He hung around a lot longer than that.

Greg said...

In a just world, Stewart would have been executed for her crimes.

She should have at least been left to rot in prison, with her fetid corpse given the bin Laden treatment after her death.

Sadly, her "compassionate release" does not even carry with it the consolation that my tax dollars are no longer paying for her room, board, and medical care -- she'll be drawing medicare and food stamps until she dies.

pst314 said...

"Hey Bob you are wrong on this one. Why are you supporting her anyway...she is a dupe for Islamic terrorism....not a dupe for Communist terrorism."

Because communists find it very easy to support islamic terrorism: (1) Terrorism is fun, and the reason for communism is to tyrannize and terrorize. (2) It's terrorism directed at the real enemy, liberal democracy. (3) Once liberal democracy is dead, the commies can direct their energies to exterminating Islam.

In other words, Robert Cook thinks like Lynn Stewart.

pst314 said...

When someone says that it was a "travesty of justice" that Lynn Stewart was convicted, they are saying that it is unjust for the obviously guilty to be convicted.

Ann Althouse said...

"She may still have a law degree, but she's no longer a lawyer. She was automatically disbarred based on her felony conviction, and that is as it should be."

Since we say "disbarred lawyers," I'd say a disbarred lawyer is still a lawyer. This person isn't permitted to do the things you need a license to practice law to do.

Here an ABA article discussing what law work a disbarred lawyer can do. Excerpt:

"There have been several state and local bar association ethics opinions on the topic of the types of law-related activities a lawyer can engage in after having been disbarred or suspended. Some of these opinions state that the disciplined lawyer may be employed as a paralegal or legal assistant so long as the employing lawyer is careful to avoid assisting the paralegal in activities that would constitute the unauthorized practice of law and does not share legal fees. The question of whether certain conduct should be considered to be the practice of law is a legal, factual matter that is traditionally outside of the jurisdiction of ethics committees. When confronted with such questions, most committees will defer to applicable state law."

openidname said...

I'm reluctantly in favor of letting her out, but only because (1) end-of-life care can be very expensive, and I don't think she should be able to make the taxpayers pay for hers, and (2) if she really has metastatic cancer, she isn't exactly going to be having fun.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - Besides whatever applicable state law exists, I would guess that Stewart is bound by terms of her compassionate release, which amount to a version of probation. Stuff like she cannot associate with felons, known terrorists, not leave the country, notify probation dept of any address change, use the Internet w/o permission, etc. Her release agreement may limit her "lawyerly activities" even further.

William said...

Alger Hiss made a pretty penny giving paid lectures at Harvard. I think the class at Harvard Law would likewise be willing to pay for her wisdom. She'll make a few bucks after her release.

Ann Althouse said...

@Cedarford Yes, but I'm only talking about whether the headline ought not to have called her a "lawyer."

Freder Frederson said...

In a just world, Stewart would have been executed for her crimes.

Your vision of a just world is incredibly warped. Do you even know what the "crime" she committed was? She violated a gag order by releasing a statement from her client. The worst that should have happened to her was disbarment and no more access to her client (and that would have been excessive).

pst314 said...

"She violated a gag order by releasing a statement from her client."

No, she acted as a courier between the Blind Sheikh and his terrorist fellow terrorists. Think of a lawyer who helps an imprisoned mob boss direct the activities of his gang.

MadisonMan said...

Ms. Stewart, in a 12-page handwritten letter to the judge during the summer, said she did not want to die in prison, “a strange and loveless place,” as she put it. “I want to be where all is familiar — in a word, home.”

Somehow, she wasn't thinking of this when she committed the crime of which she was convicted. Why is that?

Big Mike said...

Even gangbangers in the inner city know that you don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Basil said...

Is this Order going to be appealed? Let's hope so. Would love for her to have to go back in.

William said...

Her life was its own punishment. Read up on her domestic arrangements. I don't think it's possible for such a woman to find happiness. She only wants someone to blame for her own unhappiness. In a perverse way, she has found a home, at long last, in prison. There's finally an objective correlative for her vague feelings of oppression.

Ken Mitchell said...

This story seems so familiar....

How many times are we going to snookered by false claims of "dying of cancer, he only has six months to live, we might as well release this islamic terrorist now..."? The Lockerbie bomber was released on "humanitarian" grounds, and proceeded to have a miraculous recovery in Libya.

This woman should NEVER leave the prison. She should be BURIED there after a long and painful death.

Mark said...

Is that guy the Brits released because Death was nigh still kicking around? As I recall he was still rockin' the Kasbah a couple of years after they let him go.

Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd, can she still come up to your flophouse room? She hates Israel as much as you do, y'know. By the way when did you get your postcard law degree? I'm sure it's as real as the phony "family" in your profile bwahaha.

SGT Ted said...

The purposeful ignorance one has to engage in to think Lynne Stewart is innocent is entirely driven by politics.

Stewart was always a leftwing wannabe revolutionary. She dabbled in it when associating with her client by acting as his courier. She got caught and convicted.

I want her to stay in jail. She deserves it. Let some low level drug offender out instead.

Charles Austin said...

Give her the option of being executed now if she doesn't want to wait. of course, I could care less about what she wants.