Judge Calls Harsh Sentences 'Draconian'
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema was able to reduce sentences she imposed on three Muslims, but mandatory minimum sentencing laws required her to impose sentences she still considers unjust. The men were guilty of playing paintball to train for a holy war.
As a result, Khan's sentence was reduced only to life plus 45 years. Chapman, 32, had his sentence reduced from 85 years to 65 years. There is no parole in the federal system, so both will have to serve the vast majority of their terms.
"I have a limited ability to impose what I consider to be an appropriate sentence," Brinkema said. "These statutes are really draconian. I've said it before and I'll say it again."
The sentence reductions could be useful to Khan and Chapman only if the firearms convictions are overturned on appeal. If that occurs, each would serve only a 10-year sentence, which Brinkema said she considered appropriate.
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