Hamdan Prosecutors Lose Again

They just don't know when to stop. Guantanamo prosecutors wanted a sentence of 30 years to life for Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver. A military jury gave him 5 1/2 years, 5 years of which he's already served. The prosecutors should have taken that slap in the face gracefully. Instead, they asked the military judge to reassemble the jury to resentence Hamdan. They argued that the judge should not have instructed the jury that Hamdan would receive credit for time served because the judge has no authority to award that credit to an enemy combatant.

The prosecutors want the five years and one month Hamdan has already served to be "dead time" -- time a prisoner spends in custody that never gets credited to any sentence. They wanted to argue to the jury that Hamdan should serve an additional 5 1/2 years. But the jury already decided that Hamdan should be done with his sentence at the end of the year. There's no reason to put him in jeopardy of a longer sentence. The presiding judge appropriately denied the prosecution's latest shameful effort to save face.

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    guantanamo (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cpinva on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 10:07:59 PM EST
    cannot be shut down soon enough. this whole thing is a complete, utter disgrace. the bush administration has succeeded in giving our justice system a huge black eye throughout the world, and certainly provided our enemies with enough material for year's worth of propaganda.

    congratulations on a job well done georgie!

    A question (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 10:10:18 PM EST
    What is Hamden accused of having done?
    Driving Bin Laden around?

    How about this? (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 11:07:14 PM EST
    "The 40-year-old Guantanamo prisoner could be held indefinitely regardless of the sentence. The Pentagon reserves the right to hold him and other "enemy combatants" who are considered dangerous to the United States -- even those who are acquitted or complete sentences in the tribunal system".

    From the AP

    Screw Gitmo (none / 0) (#4)
    by arguewithmydad com on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 11:16:08 PM EST
    Gitmo and these kangaroo commissions are a disgrace and everyone in the Bush regime that was involved in setting these up should be brought up on war crimes violations.

    Has Obama discussed Guantanamo, etc.? (none / 0) (#5)
    by jerry on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 11:35:29 PM EST
    Has Obama discussed what he would do regarding issues of Guantanamo, and these commissions?

    As cpinva says, it can't be shut down soon enough.  What a huge mess for us.

    almost wish (none / 0) (#6)
    by txpublicdefender on Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 09:09:36 AM EST
    I almost wish the judge had allowed a re-sentencing, instructing the jury that Hamdan would not get credit for the 5 years he served, and then have the jury return a sentence of 6 months.  Would that have made the persecutors feel better?