A judge was poised to decide whether the government and some fellow judges were right when they said a 70-year-old former civil rights lawyer convicted in a terrorism case received too much leniency when she was sentenced to just over two years in prison.
U.S. District Judge John Koeltl was to resentence attorney Lynne Stewart on Thursday after considering the comments of appeals court judges who said he should review the role of terrorism in her case and consider if she lied when she testified at her trial.
Stewart, facing up to 30 years in prison, was sentenced to two years and four months after her conviction on charges that she let blind Egyptian Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman communicate with a man who relayed messages to senior members of an Egyptian-based terrorist organization.
Abdel-Rahman is serving a life sentence for conspiracies to blow up New York City landmarks and assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Stewart represented him at his 1995 trial.
Stewart was sentenced in 2006 but was permitted to remain free until the appeals court ruled last November.
Initially, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a resentencing that did not seem to pressure Koeltl to boost the length of the sentence considerably. But it revised its decision a month later, saying it had "serious doubts" whether her sentence was reasonable.
The appeals court said Koeltl might have erred if he decided the terrorism enhancement should not be applied because of Stewart's personal characteristics.