Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Justice Stood on Its Head

Further proof of the lasting impact of the Clinton Administration’s cavalier attitude towards terrorism was on display yesterday. Clinton appointee U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl sentenced convicted terrorist abettor Lynne Stewart to a scant 28 month term, despite acknowledging her actions had "potentially lethal consequences." While her attorneys had claimed: "If you send her to prison, she's going to die. It's as simple as that," Stewart gloated over the lenient sentence boasting: “I can do that standing on my head.”

Contrition should be a precondition for any lenient sentencing. There was none here. Stewart is unrepentant for breaking the law. Judge Koeltl may have been moved by her so-called service to “poor, disadvantaged, and unpopular clients.” Evidently, he had no similar regard for those murdered in the First World Trade Center bombing, the mastermind of which, Omar Abdel-Rahman, Stewart was convicted of aiding. The Clinton Administration has been criticized for treating terrorism as a problem of law enforcement, but Koeltl refused to sentence Stewart accordingly. Judge Koeltl showed a flagrant disregard for the safety of New Yorkers and stood justice on its head.