NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) –A federal judge in Manhattan ordered a “compassionate release” Tuesday from prison for a dying former civil rights lawyer.
The U.S. government requested the release earlier in the day for Lynne Stewart, who was convicted in a terrorism case. Prosecutors say Stewart, 74, suffers from recurrent stage-four breast cancer. She was not scheduled to be released until August 2018.
U.S. District Judge John Koeltl had said he could not release her early without a recommendation for from prison authorities. The director of the Bureau of Prisons made the request through Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“The defendant’s terminal medical condition and very limited life expectancy constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons that warrant the requested reduction” in her prison sentence, Koeltl’s order said.
He said Stewart will be released when her medical condition allows for it and travel arraignments can be made. She has been undergoing treatment in Carswell, Texas.
her lawyer said she’s “elated'” and that Stewart could be let out as early as Tuesday night.
Stewart has been imprisoned since 2009 after she was convicted of helping a blind Egyptian sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, communicate with his followers from prison.
Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1996 of plotting to bomb a number of landmarks in New York City. He was sentenced to life in prison.
If she is released, Stewart would live with her son in Brooklyn, CNN reported.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- NY Lawmakers Proposing Guaranteed Health Coverage, College Tuition For Wrongfully Convicted
- Police: Suspect Arrested In Sexual Assault, Robbery On Upper East Side
- Charges Dropped For NJ Woman Who Took In Abandoned Squirrels
- 8-Year-Old Girl, Cop Hailed As Heroes For Saving Life Of Her Baby Brother In Hampton Bays
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)