Well-known radical lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced today to 28 months in prison. In February 2005, she found guilty of terror charges - she had smuggled messages from terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman to his followers in defiance of prison rules. Stewart had been pleading for leniency, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and before the sentencing, Stewart's lawyer Elizabeth Fink said, "If you send her to prison, she's going to die. It's as simple as that." The AP reported that Stewart smiled when she heard 28 month sentence; she had faced a maximum of 30 years in prison. The NY Times mentions that Judge Koetl acknowledged that there was "'no evidence that any victim was in fact harmed' by her actions" and noted her career as a "lawyer to the poor and the unpopular." Stewart will be appealing.
Prior to sentencing, Stewart had been remorseful of her actions. In an interview published in the NY Times today, Stewart said of her actions, “I ignored any warning signs. I led with my heart instead of my head and thought it would be all right.” Check out the article for remarks from her former translator Mohammed Yousry. The Washington Post had a good story about him and his sad case - Yousry happens to be married to an evangelical Christian and one of the jurors on the case was upset that other jurors "talked of terrorist attacks and their desire to teach the defendants a lesson" as reasons why they did convict.
Photograph of Lynne Stewart and her supporters outside of Manhattan federal court before her sentencing by Louis Lanzano/AP