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Padilla sentencing hearing begins

[JURIST] US District Judge Marcia Cooke [official profile] began hearing arguments Tuesday in the sentencing hearing of convicted terrorist Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] and his two co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi [GlobalSecurity profiles]. The government is seeking the maximum sentence of life in prison for all three defendants, while Padilla's lawyers are arguing that he should receive no more than 10 years. Hassoun's lawyers have asked for a four- to six-year sentence, while Jayyousi's argue their client should only get probation. Defense lawyers raised over 90 objections Tuesday to a report supporting prosecutors' requests for life sentences, saying that it misrepresented evidence presented at trial. Cooke plans to hear each objection individually.

Padilla, Hassoun and Jayyousi were convicted [JURIST report] in August 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 in November 2005 and transferred to civilian custody [JURIST report] in January 2006. AP has more.

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