NY Post: Federal authorities in Manhattan say terror-loving civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart should get “compassionate release” from her 10-year sentence for passing messages between a blind World Trade Center bomb plotter and his militant followers because she’s dying from breast cancer.
Stewart, 74, was supposed to stay in a federal lockup until 2018 but the letter from US Attorney Preet Bharara will likely get her sprung early.
“It is respectfully requested that the court reduce the term of imprisonment to time that the defendant has now served,” Bharara wrote in the letter to U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl filed Tuesday.
“Despite aggressive treatment, doctors have advised that her prognosis is poor,” the letter said, adding she also has been diagnosed with anemia, high blood pressure, asthma and Type 2 diabetes.
Stewart has been undergoing treatment at the Federal Medical Center in Carswell, Texas, as supporters have rallied to get her released. Once released, the letter said, she will live with her adult son in Brooklyn.
Stewart has been imprisoned since 2009 for helping her one-time client, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, exchange messages with his followers in an Egyptian terror group while he was serving a life sentence in a plot to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Stewart gloated after she was sentenced to just 28 months behind bars in 2006, even saying, “I can do that standing on my head!” but cried in court when a judge re-sentenced her to 10 years in 2010.
She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2005. The cancer went into remission but was discovered to have recurred after she was imprisoned. Stewart has written to the judge, saying she doesn’t want to die in “a strange and loveless place” and wants to go home.
A previous compassionate-release request was denied in part on the grounds that Stewart had more than 18 months to live, though the judge said he would act promptly if the Federal Bureau of Prisons agreed she had less than 18 months to live and granted a compassionate-release application.
A federal appeals court in 2012 upheld Stewart’s 10-year sentence, saying she earned it through serious crimes that she refused to acknowledge. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was fair to boost Stewart’s sentence from the two years and four months she was given in 2006.
The three-judge panel that had ordered Stewart to be resentenced said it disagreed with her claim that her sentence was “shockingly high.” It accused her of exhibiting a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.”
Stewart’s husband did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment on Tuesday.
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