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Sentencing/Post Conviction

Imprisoned former lawyer says federal prison supports her release to fight cancer

Posted May 3, 2013 5:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A disbarred lawyer serving a 10-year-sentence says a federal prison supports her “compassionate release” to fight advanced-stage cancer.

Lynne Stewart, a 73-year-old former civil rights lawyer, was convicted in 2005 for helping an imprisoned sheik pass messages to his followers. In a statement released through her husband, Stewart said the warden at the federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, forwarded her application for compassionate release to Washington, the Associated Press reports. The warden acted after medical authorities recommended the release as beneficial to Stewart's treatment.

The application still must be approved by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the courts.

Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley didn’t comment on Stewart’s case when contacted by AP. She said some inmates are eligible to leave prison under the compassionate release policy if they have an incurable disease and life expectancy is 18 months or less.

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