NPR : News

Dying Lawyer Convicted Of Aiding Terrorism Leaves Prison

Former defense lawyer Lynne Stewart, 74, who's suffering from breast cancer, has been released from a Texas prison.

In 2005, Stewart was convicted of helping blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with followers while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up landmarks in New York City.

Government attorneys requested the early release for Stewart because the cancer has metastasized to her lungs and bones.

Doctors say she has less than 18 months to live.

She sought release in 2013 under a prison program for terminally ill inmates, according to The New York Times.

Stewart was convicted in 2005 and began serving her sentence in 2009. She was not scheduled to be released until 2018.

In a phone call after being released from prison, Stewart told The Associated Press: "I'm very grateful to be free. We've been waiting months and months and months."

Stewart's supporters have been campaigning for her release.

She was serving her sentence at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth.

Stewart left the facility with her husband Ralph Poynter on Tuesday. He told AP, "It's a great way to start the new year."

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