A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Federal judge refuses to rule out life sentence for Padilla, co-conspirators

[JURIST] US District Judge Marcia Cooke [official profile] Tuesday refused to rule out the possibility of a life sentence for convicted terrorism conspirator Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive]. Cooke found that the enhanced terrorism penalties could be applied, rejecting the defense's argument that evidence linking Padilla and his co-conspirators to actual terrorist groups was insufficient for federal terrorism standards to be applied. Tuesday's ruling is part of a sentencing hearing that is set to continue through Friday; there has been no indication of when sentences will be handed down.

Padilla was convicted in August, along with Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifadh Wael Jayyousi [profiles], of conspiracy to commit illegal violent acts outside the US, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Padilla, a US citizen, was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and subsequently detained as an "enemy combatant" [JURIST news archive] at a Navy military brig in Charleston, South Carolina. Initially alleged to have planned the explosion of a "dirty bomb" in the United States, Padilla went from enemy combatant to criminal defendant when he was finally charged with other offenses in November 2005. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.