September 27, 2002
Letters to the Editor, Magazine
The New York Times
229 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
"Left Behind" September 22, 2002
To the Editor:
"Left Behind?" Lynne Stewart? Come on. While George Packer's article about Lynne Stewart presents an interesting historical psycho-social analysis, supported by gloomy if not stoic photographs, it ultimately fails to prove its premise. Major criminal defense organizations, both national and local have come out in support of Lynne Stewart. In addition, numerous legal and "leftist" organizations have fully supported her as well, including NACDL, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Center for Constitutional Rights, The National Lawyers Guild, The American Friends Service Committee, and local chapters of the ACLU. They have joined with other organizations around the country to cosponsor events around the issues of her case and issues related to the Bush-Ashcroft assault on the U.S. Constitution.
In support of the abandonment theory the author cites an informal inquiry of the so-called "terror" bar - and quotes two defense lawyers who have apparently personalized the events of 9/11 to the degree that they cannot represent defendants accused of acts of terrorism anymore. This hardly qualifies as a thorough review of legal and political support for Lynne Stewart. Moreover it does not reflect "leftist" support for Lynne Stewart. As volunteer coordinators of the political education campaign on behalf of Lynne Stewart we know the "left" and it strongly backs Lynne Stewart.
The piece closes with the death knell that Lynne Stewart is ruined as a lawyer. This is not true for those hundreds of clients for whose rights she has fought over the years, nor to those who do not equate success with making millions of dollars or appearing on a TV show. Win or lose, the "left" is with Lynne Stewart as she fights for her freedom and the rights of not only criminal defendants but your rights under the First Amendment. Left behind? Not likely.
The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee