By Ralph Poynter

Posted on September 23, 2013 by the Editorial Board of the Communications Committee

Ralphy Poynter, partner and husband of Lynne Stewart, sent this update on September 23, 2013, urging that those who have not yet signed the Change [dot] org petition for Lynne's compassionate release do so now, and futher, that the petition be circulated widely.


An outpouring of support is required once again to free renowned attorney Lynne Stewart. She has submitted a new application for compassionate release and received word on September 6 that FMC Carswell Warden Jody R. Upton had forwarded her papers to the Bureau of Prisons headquarters in Washington, D.C.

We must urge Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. to act expeditiously to review Lynne Stewart’s new application and to instruct the federal attorney to file a motion with the Bureau of Prisons’ recommendation of compassionate release. Judge John G. Koeltl has stated that he would consider the motion as soon as he receives it.

In July 2013, Lynne Stewart was given a conservative prognosis of 18 months by the oncologist contracted by the prison, meeting the new guidelines for compassionate release established by the Bureau of Prisons. Two months have passed since then and Lynne Stewart’s health is deteriorating rapidly.

Every day counts.

Please sign the new petition so that a letter from you is sent by email to Director Samuels and to Attorney General Holder.

Please distribute the new petition widely and urge others to sign it.

Over 30,000 people in the United States and internationally signed the first petition. Numbers are even greater if we include the support from prominent organizations. We must send a strong message again that Lynne Stewart should be free.

On October 8, Lynne Stewart will be 74 years old. She has devoted her life to the impoverished and oppressed, first as a school librarian in Harlem, New York and then for 30 years as an unwavering criminal defense attorney who always put her client’s interests above her own.

We do not want Lynne Stewart to celebrate her 74th birthday on October 8th in prison, but should that be the case, she has asked us all to raise our voices in protest with vigils outside U.S. Court Houses and other public centers.

To send your message to BOP Director Samuels and to Attorney General Eric Holder, please sign the new petition for Lynne Stewart at

Ralph Poynter is Lynne Stewart's partner and husband.

For more information on Lynne Stewart's compassionate release, see

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