Let Lynne Die At Home

Regardless of what you think about my dear friend, Lynne Stewart, she’s dying.  It used to be a joke, when Jeralynn Merritt asked when judges would start meting out sentences of “life plus cancer,” but that’s the effective sentence imposed on Lynne.

NEW Petition to Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

As many of you know, I’ve been twitting since yesterday asking people to sign a petition to the government to allow Lynne compassionate release.  There have been more than a thousand new signers since then, and to the extent I’ve contributed to that, I thank you.

As I wrote in the twit, I don’t ask much, but I have something to ask of you now. Please sign the petition.  No, I am not a big believer in petitions, but the government has already refused compassionate release and appears quite happy to let Lynne die in prison.  Let the government know that you find its position disgraceful.

I realize that many do not share my views with regard to Lynne, and may think of her as a criminal.  So what? Her life is coming to an end. Is that not enough to sate your appetite for retribution?  Even if you think Lynne deserving of the sentence of imprisonment, show enough humanity to allow her to die with her husband, Ralph, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Lynne is dying of cancer regardless of what anyone thinks. That’s enough.  Let her die at home. Please sign the petition. Thank you.


10 comments on “Let Lynne Die At Home

  1. Ken Bellone

    Well said. I will admit, I wasn’t a fan of Ms. Stewart’s actions at the time, but now realize there’s always more to it than it appears.

    Additionally, the woman is suffering, and only a fool believe inmates receive the proper, compassionate care that any patient deserves.

    There is no benefit to what they’re doing to her short of petty vindictiveness, which I had hoped (long ago) we were above.

    1. SHG Post author

      You don’t have to be a fan of Lynne’s to recognize that whatever retribution one feels is needed ends with her death. She loses either way, but that’s enough of a punishment.

  2. Robert Beckman

    My simple observation is that if a person has family on the outside, and really is about to die, the only decent action is to allow their release (with an ankle monitor, if need be).

    I do not know what this person did, and I won’t find out, because it doesn’t matter. This is the right action for anyone. Maybe she doesn’t deserve forgiveness, but her family deserves mercy.

  3. Luke Gardner


    I signed it noting that although I do not in most respects agree with Lynne politically, I saw no particular useful penal or punitive purpose in holding her to her term in light of the certainty that she will succumb to her terminal cancer. I wish I had added that at some point – in such circumstances as Lynne’s – continued imprisonment becomes cruel and unusual punishment.



  4. R.P.

    Ron Kuby, the Sheik’s former attorney before Stewart took over, said (according to Wikipedia) “In the aftermath of 9/11, I could no longer put myself in the service of those who were trying to create a world in which I would be put against a wall and shot, and my daughter and wife put in burquas.” What an amazing statement of morality by Kuby, who has spent his career defending the accused but appreciated what was at stake in the case of the Sheik. You don’t help people who pose an existential threat to this country and excuse it as criminal defense work. And while Stewart is certainly not the worst of those in prison, and is suffering from cancer, I didn’t get the sense from reading the petition that she was going to admit her guilt or take any sort of responsibility for what she did. Indeed, some of the comments on the petition (some of which are pretty scary) take the position that she is completely innocent.

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