Saturday, November 21, 2009

Justice Arrived

Speaking of the Blind Sheikh Rahman, his odious one-time lawyer, Lynne Stewart, is finally on her way to prison after losing an appeal of her criminal conviction. And she'll now likely face a heavier sentence than she originally was given.

You remember that she was convicted for acting as the Sheikh’s message-bearer to his jihadist colleagues in Egypt--a rather blatant violation of both the law, and her solemn oath as a lawyer that she would abide by the special measures that applied to her client on account of his high-security status.

You can read the background on it at (“When ‘Zealous Advocacy’ Crosses the Line”).

One of the judges on the three-judge Court of Appeals panel wrote an opinion concurring in part, and dissenting in part. Circuit Judge Walker disagreed with the majority for still being too easy on Stewart, even though they upheld her conviction and remanded her case for a sentence that actually reflects the seriousness of what she did. Walker's opinion includes this summary of her actions:

For two years, defendant Lynne Stewart, through artifice and deception, and despite sworn commitments to the contrary made to the government, carried out a criminal plan to transmit instructions from her imprisoned client, a terrorist leader, to his jihadist followers in the Middle East, including, ominously, his withdrawal of support for a fragile cease-fire in Egypt, an action that effectively sanctioned renewed terrorist attacks and indiscriminate loss of human life. The district court termed these deliberate and horrific crimes of terrorism, for which the Sentencing Guidelines recommended 30 years imprisonment, “extraordinarily severe criminal conduct.” And yet the district court imposed a breathtakingly low sentence of 2 1/3 years.
Needless to say, the fact that Stewart’s representation of Rahman forced into concrete action her own contempt for her country, her profession, and (I’ll wager) herself, doesn’t reflect on all lawyers. In particular, I’m sure it doesn’t reflect on all those high-minded lawyers even now making their way to New York to try out for the KSM dream team. All of them, I’m sure, motivated only by reverence for America’s “highest ideals.”

And all of them way too smart to be manipulated by as purely evil a critter as any of them has ever encountered.

I’ll bet KSM can’t wait to meet them.

1 comment:

Leo said...

I forgot about Lynne Stweart, thanks for posting