NY court upholds lawyer's 10-year prison sentence

Associated Press Modified: June 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm •  Published: June 28, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court upheld a harsher sentence for a civil rights lawyer convicted in a terrorism case Thursday, saying she earned it through serious crimes that she refuses to acknowledge.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was fair two years ago to boost Lynne Stewart's sentence to 10 years in prison from the two-year, four-month sentence she was given in 2006.

The three-judge panel that had ordered her to be resentenced said it disagreed with Stewart's claim that her sentence was "shockingly high." It accused the now-disbarred lawyer of exhibiting a "stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes."

Herald Price Fahringer, Stewart's lawyer, said he was looking at options to appeal the ruling.

"We're awfully disappointed in the decision but we're going to keep going," he said.

Stewart resides at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Fort Worth, Texas, where she recently underwent surgery. Fahringer would not disclose why his client needed surgery, but said she "is awfully weak and apparently has difficulty moving around."

The appeals court said Stewart placed lives in danger when she allowed a blind Egyptian sheik serving a life sentence for terrorism crimes to communicate with followers. She was convicted in 2005 of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists.

She celebrated her original sentence outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan, telling those gathered around her that she could do the prison term standing on her head.

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