Legal Ethics

2nd Circuit to Civil Rights Lawyer Lynne Stewart: Go Directly to Jail

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A federal appeals court says bail for civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart should be revoked and she should begin serving her sentence “forthwith” for passing messages from an imprisoned terrorist to his followers.

The New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Stewart’s conviction in an opinion (PDF) released today, rejecting her argument that the First Amendment protected her release of statements by an imprisoned sheik.

Stewart was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to terrorists by passing messages from Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman to his followers. The material support statute “is neither unconstitutionally vague as applied nor a ‘logical absurdity,’ as Stewart asserts,” the appeals court said.

“We also reject Stewart’s claims that her purported attempt to serve as a ‘zealous advocate’ for her client provides her with immunity from the convictions.”

The 2nd Circuit also ordered the trial judge to reconsider Stewart’s 28-month sentence because he hadn’t considered whether she committed perjury at trial, the Associated Press reports.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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