Lynne F Stewart the firebrand lawyer known for defending unsavory criminals, now faces the possibility of living out her life like many of them, in maximum-security lockdown in a federal prison.

Today, 20 months after she was convicted on terror charges, Ms. Stewart and two co-defendants who were convicted of conspiring with her will be sentenced in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors, arguing that Ms. Stewart repeatedly flouted the law to aid the violent designs of an imprisoned terrorist client, have asked Judge John G. Koeltl to condemn her to 30 years in prison.

That would be a life sentence for Ms. Stewart, who turned 67 last week. Long an abrasive advocate of anti-government causes, these days she is not defiant. She is mournful about what she said were her failures as a lawyer.

Her dread of prison deepened unexpectedly, Ms. Stewart said, during the long period after a jury found her guilty on Feb. 10, 2005, of providing material aid to terrorism. She has recently recovered from breast cancer, but fears it will return in prison.

And if the judge comes down hard, she could be held in solitary confinement with limited visits, the same conditions as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the terrorist she was convicted of aiding.

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