On June 24, Director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Charles Samuels denied radical lawyer Lynne Stewart’s petition for compassionate release because she was expected to live longer than 12 months. In August, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the BOP has adopted a new policy changing the life-expectancy requirement to 18 months. Stewart’s prison doctors and independent medical specialists do not expect her to live that long because her Stage IV breast cancer has metastasized to her lungs.
Stewart’s Aug. 7 reapplication for release is pending before the Bureau of Prisons. On September 11, the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women joined a number of legal and social justice organizations in co-signing a National Lawyers Guild letter to Holder. The letter urges him to direct the BOP to forward Stewart’s latest request to Federal District Court Judge John Koeltl who has pledged to give it sympathetic consideration.
Husband Ralph Poynter and Stewart, who will be 74 on Oct. 8, are urging supporters to hold demonstrations and vigils on that date around the country, demanding her release and freedom for other political prisoners. For more information, and to sign the petition, visit www.lynnestewart.org.
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