- 07/31/2013

She has lived with courage and should die with dignity.

Please support people's attorney Lynne Stewart who is dying with Stage 4 cancer and whose application for compassionate release was approved by her Texas warden but denied by the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

THURS. 8/1, 4-7pm: Rally and Vigil at Foley Square at the triangle formed by Lafayette, Worth and Center Streets in downtown Manhattan; 2 blocks north of City Hall Park. Trains: J/Z, 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall.

THURS. 8/8, 2pm: Hearing at U.S. District Court, 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan re.motion to have Lynne's sentence overturned by the judge who, in 2010, re-sentenced her to 10 years from 28 months.  (More from Ralph Schoenman below.)
Trains: J/Z, 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall.

Every day: Call President Barack Obama (202) 456-1414; Atty. Gen'l Eric Holder (202) 514-2001; Bureau of Federal Prisons Dir. Charles Samuels (202) 307-3250 Demand Samuels reverse his denial of compassionate release for Lynne Stewart!

Here's an excellent and detailed report from Ralph Schoenman on what Judge Koeltl decided today in the matter of Lynne's motion for "immediate conditional release." In short, no decision on Lynne motion was made, but a second hearing was scheduled for Thursday, August 8 at 2 p.m. The door remains open for a victory and Lynne's release.


Ten minutes ago the hearing today before Judge John Koetl concluded. The following is a synopsis of what transpired as reported in a telephone call with Ralph Poynter:

Lynne Stewart's attorneys filed an emergency Motion (2255) with Judge Koetl seeking Lynne's "immediate conditional release" pending consideration of the legal issues presented in their brief.

The judge asked why they chose to exhaust their one time right to an emergency motion. The Defense response was that Lynne Stewart is terminally ill. The luxury of time is not available to her or her counsel. An expeditious response from the Court is imperative in the face of her medical condition and in the light of the Bureau of Prisons' unwarranted denial of her application for compassionate release and protracted delays that could be expected if she submitted another application.

The Prosecution, acting for the Justice Department of Barack Obama, asserted that the Judge has no standing because there is no motion for Compassionate Release before him from Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. as specified in the 1984 Sentencing Act.

The Defense presented a Brief which documents that the Federal Bureau of Prisons had violated separation of powers as the 1984 Congressional Statute assigns to the Court the right to modify a prison sentence in light of facts not available at the time of trial, notably those pertaining to terminal illness. "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."

"Lynne Stewart is dying," wrote her attorneys. She does not want to die in prison or become another statistic of someone who dies while the Bureau of Prisons delays its reconsideration of another application for compassionate release that she plans to file soon. 

Judge Koetl gave a directive to the Federal Attorney to set out its case by next Tuesday and also to explain why the Bureau of Prisons has refused to disclose or release the records that provide the basis for its denial of Lynne Stewart's recent application for compassionate release.

Lynne Stewart's defense attorneys will have one day to answer before the next hearing scheduled for Thursday, August 8 at 2 p.m.


Long-time National Lawyers Guild member and activist lawyer Lynne Stewart needs our help and she needs it now! The Federal Bureau of Prisons has denied Lynne Stewart’s application for compassionate release, despite recommendations in favor from the warden at her facility, the Regional Office Director, and vetting of Stewart’s release plans by the Federal Probation Office in New York.

Lynne Stewart’s condition is deteriorating rapidly. Medical treatment to arrest the cancer that is metastasizing in her body has been halted because she is too weak to receive it. She remains in isolation, as her white blood cell count is so low that she is at risk for generalized infection.

For over 30 years, Lynne Stewart devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and their rights. She, herself, was targeted and prosecuted because she defended vigorously her unpopular clients – people the U.S. government sought to execute, disappear, and demonize.

Send a message to Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels Jr. that he must reverse his decision. Sign the petition HERE.

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