Jose Padilla Sentenced to 17 Years, 4 Months

In a blow to the Bush Administration which sought a life sentence, a Miami federal judge today sentenced Jose Padilla to 17 years, 4 months.

The judge factored in Padilla's "harsh" sentencing conditions.

'I do find the [prison] conditions were so harsh that they warranted conditions for sentencing in this case,'' Cooke told a crowded courtroom of attorneys, family members and media.

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    I'm no expert... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by garyb50 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 11:36:10 AM EST
    ... but from everything I've read about this case it sounds like 17 years & 4 months too long.

    Yes (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 11:56:35 AM EST
    I agree.

    Amen.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    Apparently, the Bill of Rights ain't what I thought it was.

    Heck -- far as I can tell (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by janinsanfran on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:24:21 PM EST
    the guy deserved damages from us.

    The kicker is - and I'm sure the judge (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by scribe on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    thought of this - that if Padilla appeals, the government is sure to cross-appeal on the downward departure.  The government might even appeal the leniency the judge showed.

    If Padilla appeals and wins, his sentence is vacated and therefore up for grabs on any retrial.

    This sentence was designed to keep Padilla from appealing all the egregious rulings the trial judge - keeping out the evidence of torture, the government's "losing" DVDs of his interrogations, the conditions of his confinement, the way he was (likely) coerced into making whatever statements he made, his mental incapacity to proceed, denying him his confrontation rights - and to avoid review of the egregiously bad way the judge treated the lawyers.

    Remember, the judge tossed part of the indictment, and the 11th Circuit (laden with Bush cronies) rapidly smacked her down in pretty demeaning language and reinstated the dismissed counts.  I see them having no problem deciding she inappropriately departed downward and was too lenient, and requiring her to resentence him to much more time.  Where's he going to appeal then - the Republican Supreme Court?

    A correct (1.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:10:15 PM EST
    departure would have been to death row.

    Treason? not so much (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by tnthorpe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 10:04:45 AM EST
    Wednesday 23 January 2008

        Miami - Jose Padilla, the Brooklyn-born convert to Islam whom the government once accused of plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the United States, was sentenced on Tuesday to 17 years and 4 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to help Islamic jihadist fighters abroad.

        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.

        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."
    In America we don't kill people on the executive's say-so, that's what happens under tyranny. You can distinguish between a democracy under rule of law and tyranny, can't you PPJ?


    The judge is wrong. (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 11:57:16 AM EST
    Now, what else do you need to know??

    yeah right (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by tnthorpe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 12:39:51 PM EST
    the whole legal system collapsed, the prosecutors, the defense counsel (no doubt quasi-terrorists themselves), the judge, the whole American system of jurisprudence.

    Or not.

    You know the truth now, deal with it.


    Cooke, Marcia G. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:32:38 PM EST
    Cooke, Marcia G.
    Born 1954 in Sumter, SC

    Federal Judicial Service:
    Judge, U. S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    Nominated by George W. Bush on November 25, 2003, to a seat vacated by Wilkie D. Ferguson; Confirmed by the Senate on May 18, 2004, and received commission on May 18, 2004.

    I can only say. (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    My god.

    Outrageous (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by LarryE on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:10:48 PM EST
    There are any number of things to be outraged about in this whole travesty, but I'll mention just three.

    • Padilla's confinement before the trial was, by any reasonable meaning of the word, torture.

    • I will not insist Jose Padilla was entirely innocent because I do not know. I will insist that the case against him was tissue-thin and I will insist that he did not get a fair trial.

    • His sentence is longer than either of his co-defendants even though a)he was added at the last minute to this already-existing case because the Bush gang looked poised to lose in the Supreme Court regarding his confinement as an "enemy combatant," b)during the trial he was of the three the target of the least evidence, in fact, there were long stretches where he wasn't mentioned at all, and c)he was convicted of the same charges (by a jury that "struggled" to do so) as the others with no indication he was more responsible or acted worse.

    Further, the original charge (none / 0) (#20)
    by CanyonWren on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:33:37 PM EST
    was thrown out.  Obviously he is the US citizen scapegoat, set up to further the "homegrown terrorist" meme.

    I have only one word.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 11:58:12 AM EST
    ...but filters would block it.

    "blow to Bush" (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:43:02 PM EST
    He was found guilty; saying seventeen years is a "blow to Bush" sounds like spin.

    NO (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    As thin as the government's case was, they were still able to convict Padilla to many years in Prison. This is a travesty.

    But it is a big blow to Bush because it crushes his belief that America cannot rely on the courts when it comes to terrorists. Bush's Enemy Combatant nonsense has just gone down the toilet. That is the big blow to BushCo.


    No spin (none / 0) (#18)
    by LarryE on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:18:09 PM EST
    a "blow to Bush" sounds like spin

    The linked article says prosecutors wanted life for all three and Padilla had been expected to get that sentence.

    So yeah, in context it could easily be seen as a blow to Bush.


    Prosecutors (none / 0) (#21)
    by diogenes on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:45:10 PM EST
    Prosecutors ALWAYS want the maximum sentence in high-profile cases.  That's part of bargaining.  You don't start off by demanding the "Minimum" acceptable sentence.

    Sounds dumb (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:27:23 PM EST
    Let's assume for argument that he was treated harshly...

    Now let's say we have murderer who was treated harshly.

    Does that mean the judge lets him go free??

    Let me guess. The Judge was appointed by Clinton or Carter.. Maybe Bush 1.

    This has to be in the top 5 (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by garyb50 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:41:01 PM EST
    most nonsensical comments I've ever read on TalkLeft.

    Congratulations ! ! !


    I am here to serve (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:09:04 PM EST
    such as you.

    Please enjoy and do come back.


    "Homegrown terrorism" now in discourse (none / 0) (#12)
    by CanyonWren on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:32:48 PM EST
    Which is the purpose of Jane Harmon's Violent Radicalization and Anti-Terrorism Act, which hasn't passed both chambers yet as far as I know...oy.

    I was glad to hear that evidence wasn't allowed in due to omission of Miranda (I assume) and a lawyer. Padilla went nuts during the process.  The entire thing is a travesty.

    "Padilla's arrest was initially portrayed by the Bush administration as an important victory in the months immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and later was seen as a symbol of the administration's zeal to prevent homegrown terrorism.

    Civil liberties groups and Padilla's lawyers called his detention unconstitutional for someone born in this country.

    ....Much of what Padilla supposedly told interrogators during his long detention as an enemy combatant could not be used in court because he had no access to a lawyer and was not read his constitutional rights."

    If true (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:11:45 PM EST
    Padilla went nuts during the process.  

    That has nothing to do with his guilt.


    Yes? And your point is? (none / 0) (#19)
    by CanyonWren on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:30:29 PM EST
    Are the two mutually exclusive in your mind?

    Uh yes. They are. (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 10:13:55 PM EST
    If the authorities have done wrong, go after them.

    But that doesn't excuse his acts of treason.


    You misunderstood the meaning (none / 0) (#24)
    by CanyonWren on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 11:22:51 AM EST
    of the comment.  I stated that "Padilla went nuts" because: he was locked up in Guantanamo in solitary confinement and was tortured for several years, without access to counsel, without habeas corpus, and as a US citizen.  His supposed "guilt" had nothing to do with my comment.  Further, just how do you propose going after the "authorities"? Bizarre.

    He's a US citizen, for Chrissakes, and thanks to the MCA and Patriot Act, even citizens are treated like animals.  It's a travesty, and your comment shows disregard for even basic human rights....further, how do we know he was "guilty of treason" when the legal process is now so one-sided? We don't.


    "nuts in prison" (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by diogenes on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 11:51:31 AM EST
    If a man who was sane at the time of the crime goes "nuts" in prison,. then he is sentenced to as many years in prison as his crime deserves and he receives psychiatric treatment while in prison.  If he really were incapable of standing trial on felony charges, then he should have been hospitalized in a forensic hospital until he was sane enough to stand trial, and then tried.  

    He was never in GITMO. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 12:04:08 PM EST
    Now where to start.

    There is no proof he was tortured.

    He was found competent to stand trial after a psycho evaluation and a judicial hearing.

    He joined al-Qaida. What else do you need to know?
    Or have you been locked in a cave since 9/10/01??

    You have a point about being held for so long. As a US citizen he deserved a quick trial followed by a quicker execution.

    BTW - Holding someone such as him won't happen again.


    heh (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 03:07:25 PM EST
    He was accused of working with Al-Queda,

    They had his application for membership.....

    And you don't think joining an organization that vows to kill Americans rates a hanging??

    As for your comment re "treason," I remind you that the current administration will be gone in just under a year.

    If you have any proof, you should work to bring it forward.

    But you and I know that you do not.

    Perhaps BDS is covered in your medical insurance??