The judge said Stewart was guilty of smuggling messages between her client and his followers that could have "potentially lethal consequences." He called the crimes "extraordinarily severe criminal conduct."
But in departing from federal guidelines that called for 30 years behind bars, he cited Stewart's more than three decades of dedication to poor, disadvantaged and unpopular clients.
So her past history of doing pro-bono work saved her a lifetime in prison, which she justly deserves. The Judge should be removed from the bench since he departed from federal sentencing guidlines and in effect once again legislated from the bench.
This is a prime example of why terroism is NOT a law enforcement issue but rather a Military matter of National Security. Captain Ed agrees and writes:
The government took this case to the appropriate venue; Stewart is an American citizen and committed a grievous crime. However, Judge Koeltl showed why the law-enforcement model will never defeat terrorism. Here we have an important part of a communication chain meant to instigate murder on a global scale, and the judge sentences her to 1/15th of the possible sentence. Koeltl waxed on about Stewart's previous good works, all of which would have amounted to zero comfort to anyone lost in a terrorist attack she enabled. In fact, we still don't know that there hasn't been an attack based on that communication.
Koeltl sent a message today that certain people can commit or enable acts of terror, as long as they have the correct political background. Stewart will do a few months at a minimum security work camp, and with her illness will probably avoid the work part of it. When she gets released, she will once again become the toast of the hate-America circuit, where she will once again claim she did nothing wrong and that the real terrorists are the people who have tried -- and succeeded -- to keep this country safe for the last five years.
It's a pathetic display, and Koeltl should be ashamed of himself.
Mary Katheryn Ham has a great roundup.
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