Radical attorney and former political prisoner Lynne Stewart died Tuesday, March 7th at the age of 77 following an extended battle with cancer. In her lengthy career, this “people’s lawyer” defended Black Panthers, Weather Underground members and other outsiders. As Lynne explained in a 2015 interview with Guernica, "I'm particularly committed to the political people who needed defense. They're out there fighting the government on behalf of everybody."
Last week I presented at the 2016 Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale University. The largest student-run public interest law conference in the country, RebLaw “seeks to build a community of law students, practitioners, and activists seeking to work in the service of social change movements.”
Earlier this week I read that Lynne Stewart, the radical lawyer who is serving a ten-year prison for distributing press releases on behalf of a client who was convicted of terrorist conspiracy, had been recommended for compassionate release to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Lynne, a 73-year-old grandmother is terminally ill with stage IV breast cancer. Later I heard that although the Warden at her prison had recommended this release, the Federal Bureau of Prisons had denied it. I don’t know whether she’ll be granted compassionate release any time soon.