Stewart, 67, was charged with aiding a U.S.-designated terror organization, the Islamic Group, wage a broad murder and kidnapping conspiracy. Federal prosecutors said she and two men convicted with her helped her former client, the blind sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman, transmit messages to the group’s leaders in defiance of prison restrictions.
The government had asked U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in New York to impose a 30-year term.
In a plea for mercy, Stewart implored the judge to “Permit me to live out the rest of my life productively, effectively and righteously.”
Koeltl said he handed down a lighter sentence because of Stewart’s “extraordinary personal characteristics,” including her decades of service as a defense lawyer. Her attorneys had asked the judge to impose no prison time, citing Stewart’s poor health. She’s recovering from a bout with breast cancer.