A federal judge in New York has rejected a bid for early release from a dying former civil rights lawyer convicted in a terrorism case.

Judge John Koeltl (COAT-ole) rejected 73-year-old Lynne Stewart's request Friday. He said the law does not permit him to order her release prior to the completion of her 10-year prison term unless the federal Bureau of Prisons requests it.

But he said he would consider a request for compassionate release. The bureau previously rejected that request from Stewart, but she has since resubmitted it.

Stewart's lawyer said the judge seemed sympathetic Stewart and she hoped the bureau will reconsider the request. The government declined comment.

Stewart was convicted of letting a client communicate with followers while serving a life sentence for a terrorism plot.