Lynne Stewart, Terminally-ill, Back In New York After Release


Lynne Stewart the terminally ill imprisoned former attorney who built a reputation defending people who were shunned by so-called “mainstream” lawyers was released on compassionate grounds and has already flown to New York City from the Texas prison.

Stewart was met by supporters at the airport and “Democracy Now” will broadcast an interview with her today.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl ordered her freedom Tuesday evening after the Federal Bureau of Prisons supported her application; and earlier bid which didn’t have the Bureau’s support had been denied.

She has been given fewer than 18 months to live. Her lung cancer had spread to her bones and lymph nodes.

“Prison has diminished me,” Stewart, once known for her indomitable spirit, has said.

Stewart’s “terminal medical condition and very limited life expectancy constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons that warrant the requested reduction,” the judge wrote in his order.

Stewart, 74, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2010, an extension of a previous sentence of 28 months given in 2007.

She had been convicted of illegally relaying messages from her then client Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian blind cleric, who was an opponent of then dictator Hosni Mubarak. Abdulrahman was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” in 1995. He is serving a life term.

Stewart will live with her son in Brooklyn. In 2007 she was disbarred.

Supporters call her “the people’s attorney.”

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