Court: LAX terror sentence too lenient, ‘failed to protect public’

Creeping Sharia
February 3, 2010


Surprising news from the 9th Pillar. From the Seattle Times, flying pig not included. Court: Ressam sentence ‘failed to protect public’:

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has harshly rebuked a Seattle-based federal judge for sentencing would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam to 22 years in prison, a penalty the court said failed to “protect the public” from the al-Qaida-trained terrorist.

In a 2-1 decision, the San Francisco-based appeals court Tuesday overturned the sentence imposed on Ressam by longtime U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour in December 2008 and ordered that Ressam be resentenced.

The appeals court ruled that Coughenour “procedurally erred” by failing to address the arguments presented by federal prosecutors — who argued for a life sentence — and by issuing a sentence far below the guidelines, which ranged from 65 years to life in prison.

The 72-page ruling, written by Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcón, also ordered that Ressam’s resentencing be reassigned to a different federal judge because Coughenour’s “previously expressed views appear too entrenched to allow for the appearance of fairness on remand.”

The appeals court said Coughenour needed to weigh the need to “protect the public” in his sentencing decision.

Read the rest of the decision at Creeping Sharia.

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