A judge rejected a bid for early release Friday from a dying former civil rights lawyer convicted for helping get an Egyptian sheik’s fatwa to his Islamist followers, though he said he would be “sympathetic” to a request by federal prison officials to free her.
U.S. District Judge John Koeltl explained in a written decision why he rejected Lynne Stewart’s request, saying the law did not permit him to re-examine her 10-year sentence without a recommendation for “compassionate release” from prison authorities.
The bureau rejected Stewart’s request in June. She resubmitted it Wednesday.
Stewart’s lawyer claimed that her oncologist says she has less than 18 months to live, which happens to be the length of time the Bureau of Prisons has set for eligibility for compassionate release.