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Lynne Stewart

For more information on Lynne’s case, see lynnestewart.org

Lynne is a movement attorney convicted of materially aiding a terrorist organization for issuing two press releases on behalf of her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Lynne was initially sentenced to 2 years in prison. But after publicly claiming that she could survive the 2 years, the government appealed her sentencing and she was punitively re-sentenced to an outrageous 10 years in prison.

Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer prior to her sentencing in 2009, Lynne was denied compassionate release because the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) claimed “she is not suffering from a condition which is terminal within 18 months,” though treating physicians estimated her life expectancy at 12 to 18 months. Her tireless legal team procured a decision from an independent committee within the BOP. From there, it went to the director of the BOP for the final recommendation and request for a motion to the Judge.  She was finally released on December 31, 2013 after serving 4 years of her sentence.

While this bureaucracy was underway (again not simply following the BOP’s own mediocre standards for compassionate release), Lynne’s health was deteriorating daily with no access to proper medical care even in the Federal Medical Center. It was only after an urgent call-in campaign, that Lynne was finally released and allowed proper medical care.  Lynne’s story is a testimony to not only the cruel and unusual punishment political prisoners are subjected to, but also to successes that lie ahead of persistent and righteous campaigns.

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