Gray Panthers of San Francisco
April 2007 Newsletter

Gray Panthers Lunch with Lynne Stewart


We have Mitzi to thank for hosting the successful February fundraiser for Lynne Stewart and Mumia. The turnout was terrific, the food fabulous and funds collected for legal appeals as generous as the cause of justice they serve.

Portions of the letter Lynne wrote to Judge Koetl on the eve of her sentencing lends insight into the 28-month sentence she received.

“...I want to say, as forthrightly as I can: I am not a traitor. The government’s characterization of me and what occurred is inaccurate and untrue. It takes unfair advantage of the climate of urgency and hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was relived during the trial. I did not intentionally enter into any plot or conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization.

“...What might have been legitimately tolerated in 2000-2001, was after 9/11 interpreted differently and considered criminal. At the time I didn’t see this; I see and understand it now.

“...If I have a tragic flaw, it is that I care too much for my clients….I have always believed that when my clients are in distress, it is my duty both as a lawyer and a person to alleviate it.

“...The government’s contention that I don’t care about the deaths of innocent civilians makes me gasp. I care too much

“...The government asks you to give me 30 years in prison. No one ever loved being a lawyer, a champion for those with no power or voice, more than I did. To be deprived of this, the chance to continue to work, is the worst punishment I can imagine.

“...I am before you for sentence. I ask for nothing more than justice, tempered with mercy.”

In about six months, the Appeals Court of New York will hear both Lynne’s appeal of her conviction and the government’s appeal of the light sentence. We trust that before the year is out Lynne will again be serving her clients and the legal community with levity and justice.

(back to April 2007 Newsletter front page)