Justice is blind, but not stupid. At least not in the case of the odious Lynne Stewart.
It took years, but this is a story of triumph for innocent people everywhere in the war against terrorists. The criminal justice system actually worked, and the outcome is all the more fitting because Stewart's venality was matched only by her arrogance and greed.
Convicted five years ago of terrorism charges, the radical lawyer foolishly appealed the verdict and her 28-month sentence, even while boasting the sentence was so short she could do it "standing on my head." Of her crimes, she told reporters she would "do it again."
Too clever by half. Now she is doing 10 years and has only herself to blame for the added time.
And we have brilliant lawyering by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office and a wise decision by a federal court of appeals to thank for correcting the gross miscarriage of justice the initial sentence represented.
There's no debate about the lethal intent of her crimes. Stewart was the lawyer for Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Islamic fanatic who plotted attacks in Egypt and New York.
He was being held under tight security in federal lockups so he couldn't communicate with violent followers.
To her everlasting disgrace, Stewart used her privilege as a lawyer to help pass messages, some of which aimed to promote murder, to those followers, then lied about it in court.
A jury convicted her, and although she faced up to 30 years, Judge John Koeltl gave her only 28 months, saying she was in bad health and deserved a break for defending many poor clients over the years. That was his mistake.
Stewart's mistakes were her boasts to reporters and an appeal that argued for no jail time at all. Manhattan prosecutors seized on that fatuous claim to argue that, far from being too harsh, the 28 months was too lenient, given the serious nature of her crimes, her obvious lies under oath and sentences in similar cases.
Happily, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the government. It upheld the conviction and, saying Koeltl had erred in calculating his initial sentence, ordered him to reconsider Stewart's sentence.
He did and last week tacked on nearly eight more years. He cited her lack of remorse, as well as the appeals court ruling.
"I'm somewhat stunned, Judge, at the swift change in my outlook," a blubbering Stewart told him.
No doubt she is, as we all are. Stunned that justice was done.
Stewart is 70, so there's a good chance she's right when she says she won't get out of prison alive. She's served only eight months and claims already "prison has diminished me," adding, "I sense myself losing pieces of my personhood."
She should have thought of that before signing on as an accomplice to terrorism. The sympathy she wants is reserved for the victims of the worldwide scourge she abetted.
Her case should also serve as a warning to other lawyers with a nasty habit of romanticizing their terror clients. Legal representation of unsavory people is noble; aiding the cause of waging war against America is pure evil.
A lawyer's privilege isn't a license to do both.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.