[Ppnews] Lynne Stewart Defense Committee: urgent update

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 30 08:27:37 EDT 2006

From: <mailto:jmackler at locrian.com>Jeffrey Mackler

Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 3:43 PM
Subject: Lynne Stewart Defense Committee: urgent update/meeting and mailing

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,

We spoke with Lynne a few days ago and learned that two critical
dates had been set in the ongoing legal proceedings that will
determine whether Lynne serves 30 years in prison, as per the U.S.
Probation Department report and recommendation to Judge John Koeltl,
or zero time in prison and probation, the sentence urged by Lynne's
lead sentencing attorney, Liz Fink. The probation department report
was explicit in stating that a 30-year sentence will serve as a
"deterrent" to all those who would violate Bureau of Prison
regulations. In Lynne's case, the "violation" consisted in the public
release of a press statement by her client.

We should add  here that government prosecutors, in a just-released
100-page report  also recommended a 30-year prison sentence. The
government's argument centered on their contention that Lynne's
defense effort on behalf of her client, the, "blind sheik" Omar Abdel
Rachman, essentially amounted to "aiding and abetting terrorism."

We have attached Lynne's brief on the sentencing issue.

Originally scheduled for Monday, September 25, the sentencing hearing
has now been definitively set for Monday, October 16 at 10 AM in the
Federal Court House in Manhattan.

There will be a mass rally during the afternoon of October 15 at a
time and place to be determined, hopefully at the Riverside Church in
Manhattan the location originally scheduled.

Additionally, Judge Koeltl has set Monday, September 25 as the date
to hear Lynne's National Security Administration motions, that
essentially argue that if the government spied on Lynne's strategy
sessions with her attorneys as she prepared for her trial, the trial
was fundamentally tainted and the guilty verdict obtained should be

You may recall here that a U.S. federal district court in Michigan
recently ruled that the Bush Administration's NSA spying orders
represented a fundamental violation of constitutionally protected
rights, a decision that is on point with regard to Lynne's case.

The reason for the change in the sentencing dates mentioned above is
because government prosecutors asked for and received additional time
to prepare their response to Lynne's NSA motions. These, and the
government's response, will be argued on September 25, also at the
Federal Courthouse at 10 AM.

Lynne has expressed her special thanks for our West Coast fund
raising efforts over the past month or so. During that time we were
able to raise some $5,500 to meet some emergency expenses for the
national Lynne Stewart Defense Committee due to the extraordinary
efforts of a precious few groups and individuals in the Bay Area.

Another extraordinary contribution possibility has now presented
itself with the exceptional decision last week of the Bay Area
Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild to make available to our West
Coast Lynne Stewart Defense Committee its mailing labels for some 900
NLG members for a fundraising appeal. We will include in this mailing
the excellent pamphlet produced on Lynne's case by the National
Office of the NLG.

We have set Wednesday, September 13 at 6:00 PM, 298 Valencia Street
(at 14th Street) in San Francisco, for the date of this important
mailing at which time we will also discuss future plans for our
efforts here. These include a possible West Coast tour on Lynne's
behalf by Michael Ratner, the Executive Director of the New
York-based, Center for Constitutional Rights.

Your participation at the September 13 Lynne Stewart Defense
Committee meeting and  mailing is essential. Funds are urgently
needed as the final stages in the fight over Lynne's sentence rapidly

Should Lynne receive a zero-term sentence with probation or something
resembling a short prison sentence, her chances of also receiving
bail and being free pending her appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit will be significantly increased. On the other
hand, a long sentence for Lynne, now 67 years-old, could indeed be a
life sentence with no bail.

Lynne's case is among the worst examples of the terrible state of
civil liberties in the U.S. today. That a proud and courageous
attorney, who did nothing more than valiantly defend her client,
could suffer so grave an injustice is a sure sign that we are in for
even more troubled times. In these difficult days, your renewed
efforts on Lynne's behalf are essential.

In this regard we ask that this letter be distributed as widely as
possible to all appropriate lists and concerned individuals.

Your financial contribution to Lynne's defense can be via a check
payable to either the "Lynne Stewart Defense Committee" or, for a tax
deductible contribution, to the "National Lawyers Guild Foundation"
(with a note in the memo box "for Lynne Stewart's defense." Mail your
checks directly and as quickly as possible to:

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

In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler and Larry Felson
for the West Coast Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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