A Longer Sentence for Post-Conviction Comments to the Press?


Lynne Stewart, an attorney who was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to a terrorist group by passing messages to and from her imprisoned client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, to his followers, was re-sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in the Southern District of New York to 10 years in prison, far more than observers expected.

But most surprising was the fact that Koeltl based the longer sentence in part on Stewart’s post-sentencing comments in 2006, particularly a comment on TV that she would “not do anything differently” and a statement to the press that she could do a 28-month prison term, the original sentence, “standing on my head.” The judge said this showed a lack of remorse.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit had told Koeltl to try again and to give Stewart a longer sentence than the 28 months he originally specified. The court said sentencing enhancements for terrorism, perjury, and Stewart’s abuse of her position of trust as a lawyer should be applied

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