Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl decided July 15 to increase disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart‘s sentence from 28 months to 10 years. Stewart was found guilty in 2005 of distributing press releases on behalf of her imprisoned client Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the “Blind Sheikh,” in violation of “special administrative measures.”
Stewart, 70, started serving the original 28-month sentence in November. Prosecutors filed an appeal of the sentence, arguing that Stewart should get 15 to 30 years. Lawyers for Stewart said the initial term ordered by the judge was “reasonable and just.” But a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the sentence, sending the case back to Judge Koeltl.
Koeltl, citing Stewart’s lack of remorse, found that “the original sentence was not adequate.” Supporters for Stewart, who underwent treatment for breast cancer before she was first sentenced, are calling for her term to be served at home. (NY1, Democracy Now, Bloomberg, Law.com, WBAI News, July 15; NYT, June 25)