Thursday, August 1, 2013

1116. Immediate Update on the Court Hearing Concerning Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart

By Ralph Schoenman, July 31, 2013

Ten minutes ago the hearing today before Judge John Koetl concluded. The following is a synopsis of what transpired as reported in a telephone call with Ralph Poynter:

Lynne Stewart's attorneys filed an emergency Motion (2255) with Judge Koetl seeking Lynne's "immediate conditional release" pending consideration of the legal issues presented in their brief.

The judge asked why they chose to exhaust their one time right to an emergency motion. The Defense response was that Lynne Stewart is terminally ill. The luxury of time is not available to her or her counsel. An expeditious response from the Court is imperative in the face of her medical condition and in the light of the Bureau of Prisons' unwarranted denial of her application for compassionate release and protracted delays that could be expected if she submitted another application.

The Prosecution, acting for the Justice Department of Barack Obama, asserted that the Judge has no standing because there is no motion for Compassionate Release before him from Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. as specified in the 1984 Sentencing Act.

The Defense presented a Brief which documents that the Federal Bureau of Prisons had violated separation of powers as the 1984 Congressional Statute assigns to the Court the right to modify a prison sentence in light of facts not available at the time of trial, notably those pertaining to terminal illness. "The BOP has implemented its own interpretation and refused to notify the sentencing judge of objectively 'extraordinary and compelling circumstances,' including but not limited to imminent death, unless, in its own judgment, a motion should be granted. Between 2000 and 2008, on average, 21.3 motions were filed each year. In about 24% of those motions, the prisoner died before the district court ever had a chance to rule on the motion."

"Lynne Stewart is dying," wrote her attorneys. She does not want to die in prison or become another statistic of someone who dies while the Bureau of Prisons delays its reconsideration of another application for compassionate release that she plans to file soon.

Judge Koetl gave a directive to the Federal Attorney to set out its case by
next Tuesday and also to explain why the Bureau of Prisons has refused to disclose or release the records that provide the basis for its denial of Lynne Stewart's recent application for compassionate release.

Lynne Stewart's defense attorneys will have one day to answer before the next hearing scheduled for Thursday, August 8 at 2 p.m.

Judge Koetl has the authority to mandate immediate conditional release to Lynne Stewart.

No comments: