happy birthday to former movement lawyer lynne stewart

Thirty-five years ago, Lynne Stewart was admitted as an attorney in New York. During her career, she represented activists such as David Gilbert, after the 1981 Brink’s armored-car robbery in Rockland County. In June, a panel of federal judges upheld her 10-year prison sentence for “providing aid to terrorism,” because she allegedly shared statements from Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, her client in a terrorism case, with his followers (via a press release).

As in Tim DeChristopher’s case, the judge who sentenced Stewart in 2010 cited some of her public statements, including a comment that she could serve her original sentence of 28 months “standing on my head.” The three-judge panel reviewing her 10-year sentence decided that consideration of her public statements did not violate her First Amendment rights. Yet Stewart shouldn’t be punished for her beliefs or public comments, the contents of which – in the words of a Los Angeles Times editorial in March – “don’t justify a quadrupling of her sentence.”

Today is Stewart’s birthday. You can send her birthday wishes by writing her at the following address:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127