Free Lynne Stewart sign now

Mr. President,

On Thursday, November 19th, long time civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart was ordered by Judge John G. Koeltl to turn herself in to begin serving a 28-month prison sentence for her 2006 conviction for conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists. This 70 year old woman has devoted her life to the poor, the underprivileged, the black community and justice. Anyone who could not afford for a lawyer could knock at her door. Today, Lynne Stewart is fighting not only for her freedom but for any Americans freedom.

Lynne Stewart did not benefit of justice. Her case became only important after 911. Let me remind you that her only mistake was to ignore the US Bureau of Prisons Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) she had to sign in order to defend Sheik Omar-Abdel Rahman. The SAMs are unconstitutional as a violation of both the First Amendment and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The Clinton Administration did not consider Lynne Stewart as a terrorist and a traitor. Her case was merely considered as an administrative fault. She received a letter to that effect, and could not visit her client in prison for some time. Then, she was allowed to visit him and pursue her work as a lawyer. It is only on April 9th 2002 that she was arrested, in the aftermaths of 911, when the climate was hysterical. So hysterical that the attorney general John Ashcroft went to David Letterman Late Night show to tell America that Lynne Stewart is a traitor to the nation.

Today, in the media, Lynne Stewart is either a terrorist and a traitor, and deserves the worst punishment, or an hero. But she is neither of them. She is a 70 year old woman with years of life experience as mother, a grand-mother, an activist and a lawyer. As a young white American, she fought for the blacks, because she believed in justice. Decades latter, she defended the Sheikh Omar-Abdel Rahman, because she still believed in justice.

Today, she is in jail, and she still believes in justice. Even if her trial bring us back to the worst period in America, namely the McCarthiysm.

Mr. President, I have known Lynne Stewart for five years now. The first time I heard of her was in the newspapers, in 2004. They described Lynne Stewart as a terrorist and, with my husband, we decided to contact her to see what really happened and who she was. We decided to make a documentary about her case to find out what happened. We have been very cautious to be as neutral as possible.

Mr. President, years latter, I can tell you that Lynne Stewarts only error was to be overconfident. She had confidence in justice, and the government of United States has betrayed her:

By attacking the First Amendment right of free speech, free press and petition;
by attacking the right to effective assistance of counsel by chilling the defense; (and)

by invading the private conversations, private-attorney-client meetings, faxes, letters and e-mails to gather the 'evidence'.

Mr. President, I urge you to free Lynne Stewart. She only did her work zealously.



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  • 18 October 2015984. Robin R
    While admitted war criminals at the highest levels of the Bush administration remain free to enjoy the profits they made from their wars, a compassionate and giving woman is in jail, her crime being that she helped the poor and disenchanted receive equal
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    I'm convinced that Ms. Stewart did not knowingly aid and abet terrorism. Intent is fundamental to a finding of guilt.
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    Government tynanny is not new to mankind, but it is now the biggest threat to the American way of life as described in the United States Constitution.
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Javier HahnBy:
SustainabilityIn:
Petition target:
President Barack Obama

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