Victor Hansen

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October 16, 2006

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» Should Lynne Stewart Have Been Convicted? from Opinio Juris
Over at National Security Advisors, my friend Tung Yin has a post about the [Read More]

Comments

Bobby Chesney

I've seen a few articles in recent days suggesting that the prosecution of Stewart somehow should be construed as an attempt to discourage representation of defendants in terrorism cases. In keeping with Tung's comments, I just don't see it that way; at the end of the day, this was about enforcing the SAMs, the violation of which in this instance also happened to redound to the benefit of Egyptian Islamic Group. As Tung says, it's just not a laudable example of zealous advocacy. The relatively light sentence - against the backdrop of a roughly 10-year median for convictions under 2339A - seems to fairly addresses the concerns that had been raised in her case.

Kevin

I appreciate Tung's thoughtful response to my post, with which I generally agree. I am not convinced, however, by Bobby's comment. If this was, "at the end of the day... about enforcing the SAMs," the government would not have prosecuted Stewart for materially aiding terrorism (which they continued to do even after their initial indictment was thrown out) and recommended a 20-year sentence. I also stand by my contention that the SAMs are specifically intended to undermine the attorney-client relationship; what other purpose could they have, unless -- as I pointed out in my post -- you believe that defense attorneys are in the business of conspiring with terrorists?

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