CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Defense Attorney Not Prepared For Her Own Cross-Examination?

Lynne Stewart is a prominent criminal defense attorney who represented the "Blind Shiekh" in his trial for masterminding the 1993 bombings of the WTC.  During her representation of the Shiekh, she allegedly helped him send messages from prison to his followers directing them to commit additional acts of terror.  She is now being prosecuted for her role in sending these messages, and the Yin Blog reports that she made the following comments on cross-examination:

"Under questioning in federal court, Lynne Stewart said violence was necessary to reverse an 'entrenched ferocious type of capitalism' that breeds sexism and racism. She said civilians must not be targeted, but left unclear what kind of violence she meant.

'I'm talking about a popular revolution,' Stewart said.  'I'm talking about institutions being changed and that will not be changed without violence.'

* * *

When U.S. Attorney Andrew Dember pressed Stewart to explain what types of institutions she believed must be attacked, Stewart said the American Revolution was accomplished through violence and that the Civil War brought about an end to slavery in the U.S.

'We're not in those times yet,' she said. 'People will make the right decision about which to attack.'

The former school teacher and librarian added, 'The New York City Board of Education could be one to attack.' The remark received chuckles around the courtroom.

Stewart said violence that harms innocent people sometimes is unavoidable, even in Iraq.

'You can't always separate out the combatants from the noncombatants,' she said."

For more, click here.

Mark Godsey

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