Ohio attorney and prisoner-rights activist Alice Lynd was held in contempt of court and sentenced to jail to Friday until she agrees to testify about an inmate's purported confession to her that he killed an inmate during the Lucasville prison riot in 1993.

In an emotional hearing before Scioto County Common Pleas Judge William T. Marshall in Portsmouth, Ohio, Lynd, 74, refused to testify about what an inmate she referred to only as "Mr. X" told her about the murder because it would violate attorney-client privilege.

Prosecutors argued that Lynd was not the inmate's attorney and that attorney-client privilege did not apply. Judge Marshall agreed, and sentenced Lynd to jail. He offered to stay the sentence while Lynd's attorney sought a stay from the appeals court if she agreed to testify if the appeals court upheld his ruling. Lynd said she could not, in good conscience, testify about what "Mr. X" told her without his permission under any circumstances.

Lynd then removed her jewelry, and was escorted to jail by deputies while carrying medication for several conditions that her attorney said could be aggravated in jail. Lynd's supporters -- including her husband and co-author of several books, Staughton Lynd, applauded to show support for Alice Lynd's stand for the principle of attorney-client privilege.

The Lynds began investigating the riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville in 1996 as they helped prepare inmate George Skatzes' petition for post-conviction review. The Lynds soon came to believe that Skatzes, who was sentenced to death for the murder of two inmates during the riot, is innocent. Staughton Lynd's book, Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising, was recently published by Temple University Press.