The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) continues to stand behind longtime member, civil and human rights defender Lynne Stewart, as the Second Circuit appeal of her sentence is argued before a three-judge panel today.
“It is a rare honor for us in the Guild to be among Lynne’s friends and colleagues,” said NLG President David Gespass. “And government repression and overreaching only reinforces that.”
The prosecution and utterly unjustified sentence leveled against Ms. Stewart carries the larger aim of intimidating any lawyer in the post-9/11 era who would represent controversial clients. Ms. Stewart devoted her life to defending poor people, political activists and others with unpopular viewpoints, and her 2002 arrest directly targeted her for that vigorous representation.
"Even as she serves out a harsh and unjust sentence, Lynne's dedication to her community, her clients, and her principles continues to be an inspiration,” said NLG Executive Vice President Ian Head. “Guild members will pack the courtroom today to show our support."
The NLG has helped launch a broad-based, national education campaign about the impact that her indictment and harsh sentencing have had on the Sixth Amendment right to an attorney and on the First Amendment right to free expression. Lynne Stewart is imprisoned in a federal facility in Texas, and will not appear at the oral argument. She was re-sentenced in 2010 to 10 years in a federal medical prison facility.
Supporters can write to her at: Lynne Stewart #53504-054, Federal Medical Center, Carswell, PO Box 27137, Ft. Worth, TX 76127. For more information on the case visit http://lynnestewart.org.
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is headquartered in New York and has chapters in nearly every state. The Guild has a long history of representing individuals whom the government has deemed a threat to national security. The organization also helped expose illegal FBI and CIA surveillance, infiltration, and disruption tactics, leading to enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and other limitations on federal investigative power.