Posted Jan 30, 2008 02:42 pm CST
A lawyer for disbarred lawyer Lynne Stewart claimed in appellate arguments yesterday that his client’s release of a statement by an imprisoned sheik was protected by the First Amendment.
Stewart was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to terrorists by passing messages from her imprisoned client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, to his followers. Her lawyer, Joshua Dratel, argued before an audience at the New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that was packed with Stewart supporters, the New York Law Journal reports.
Dratel said Stewart was convicted on the basis of three meetings with the sheik over a three-year period, and no “violent acts were planned or occurred.” He cited the U.S. Supreme Court case, Brandenburg v. Ohio, which struck down a law barring speech advocating illegal activities.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Barkow argued that Stewart was well aware that her actions were wrong, and her 28-month sentence was too lenient.
Judge ‘Thinking Very Hard’ About Lynne Stewart Case (New York Sun)
Judge’s light term for terror lawyer Lynne Stewart ripped (New York Daily News)