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January 23, 2008
Convicted terrorist Padilla Gets off with light sentence
Convicted terrorist Jose Padilla was sentenced to 17 years in prison yesterday for his role in helping Islamic extremists overseas:
The sentence was more lenient than the federal sentencing guidelines recommended and was a setback for the government, which had requested life in prison, the maximum. Well, that's a relief. Of course, there's plenty of evidence that they wanted to kill people so punishing the government by going easy on the terrorist makes perfect sense - if you're a liberal.
In explaining her decision, Judge Marcia G. Cooke of Federal District Court in Miami underscored the gravity of the crimes Mr. Padilla, 37, had committed. But she questioned the effects of the conspiracy, saying there was no evidence linking Mr. Padilla and two co-defendants to specific terrorism acts anywhere.
“There is no evidence that these defendants personally maimed, kidnapped or killed anyone in the United States or elsewhere,” Judge Cooke said. “There was never a plot to overthrow the United States government.”
The detainee legal quagmire has set free some who have gone back to the battlefield and carried out terrorist attacks. It has also kept some who may be innocent from being released. It is a disgraceful mess that no branch of the federal government seems capable of addressing adequately.
Padilla was an American citizen who chose sides in a war where the enemy seeks to destroy us. His case may be instructive as to why it is not a good idea to try these cases in American courts.