Can You Spell "Scapegoat"?

Lawyer Gets 28 Months for Aiding Terrorist
She Faced 30 Years for Helping Imprisoned Client Communicate With Followers
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, AP

NEW YORK (Oct. 16) — Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced Monday to 28 months in prison on a terrorism charge for helping a client who plotted to blow up New York City landmarks communicate with his followers.

Stewart, 67, could have faced up to 30 years in prison. She smiled as the judge announced his decision to send her to prison for less than 2 1/2 years.

“If you send her to prison, she’s going to die. It’s as simple as that,” defense lawyer Elizabeth Fink had told the judge before the sentence was pronounced.

Stewart, who was treated last year for breast cancer, was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to terrorists. She had released a statement by Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian sheik sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in plots to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egypt’s president.

Prosecutors have called the case a major victory in the war on terrorism. They said Stewart and other defendants carried messages between the sheik and senior members of an Egyptian-based terrorist organization, helping spread Abdel-Rahman’s call to kill those who did not subscribe to his extremist interpretation of Islamic law.

In a letter to the judge before her hearing, Stewart proclaimed: “I am not a traitor.”

“The end of my career truly is like a sword in my side,” She said in court Monday. “Permit me to live out the rest of my life productively, lovingly, righteously.”

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