A federal judge on Tuesday
granted Lynne Stewart, a former defense lawyer convicted of
aiding terrorism, a "compassionate" release from prison because
she is dying of cancer.
Stewart, 74, has been serving a 10-year sentence over her
2005 conviction for helping a client, blind Egyptian cleric
Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, smuggle messages from prison to
Egypt's Islamic Group, which the US government had listed as a
Earlier this year, Stewart asked US District Judge John
Koeltl in Manhattan for early release under a Federal Bureau of
Prisons program for terminally ill inmates.
Koeltl, who in August had denied the request, noting that
the Bureau of Prisons had not supported it, on Tuesday granted
the request, following a recommendation for release from the
Bureau of Prisons and the US attorney in Manhattan. Koeltl
reduced Stewart's sentence to the time she has already served
and ordered Stewart released as soon as her medical condition
permits, according to a court filing.