John Walker Lindh Seeks Commutation and Sentence Reduction

John Walker Lindh, referred to as "The American Taliban" has filed a request with the Pardon Office asking President Bush to commute and reduce his 20 year sentence. Lindh's lawyer argues that Lindh should be treated similarly to Yaser Hamdi who was released and deported last week, after spending three years in custody.

Lindh, a 23-year-old Northern California native, pleaded guilty in civilian court to supplying services to the now-defunct Taliban government and carrying explosives for them. He and Hamdi were both captured in late 2001. Brosnahan said he negotiated the 20-year sentence during a time when a "highest state of fear" was affecting U.S. juries and he thought it was the best deal he could get at the time. He could have gotten life in prison if convicted.

Both are American-born. Both were captured in Afghanistan and brought to the U.S. Hamdi was held in detention and never charged. Lindh was charged in civilian court.

What justifies their different treatment?

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