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View Diary: The sunlight of a public trial (118 comments)

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  •  There was a lot of (4.00)
    back room dealing in this case, and I was going to post a diary about it, but didn't want to get troll rated just because some people have authoritarian tendencies around here.

    Ressam was cooperating with the authorities for the longest time.  He had been promised a sentence of 15 years, and thought that it was a good deal.

    However, the prosecutors renegued on the deal, and pressed for 35 years.  At this point, Ressam stopped cooperating and even stopped eating.

    The judge in this case mentionned that he hoped that Ressam would cooperate with the authorities, and by giving Ressam 22 years ( which works out to about 15  because of time served) Ressam is more likely to do this now - not because of the prosecutors, but because of the judge.

    So, the judge is an unsung hero because of the length of the sentencing as well.

    I've heard of many cases where the attitudes used by federal authorities changes the level of cooperation of detained suspects, and not in a positive way either.

    Someone should make this public and show how they are harming the American public by doing unethical things such as reneguing on plea bargains - which I may add, are quite common in all types of criminal cases.  

    •  From the Globe and Mail: (4.00)
      The judge hoped Mr. Ressam would consider using the three months to consider providing more information about other suspects.

      U.S. prosecutors had urged Judge John Coughenor to impose a 35-year sentence on Mr. Ressam in hopes that a severe penalty might persuade him to change his mind about testifying against two other suspects in Canada and Britain.

      However, Mr. Ressam refused to co-operate.

      His lawyers have said their client's previous co-operation was a significant aid to security agents in efforts to understand the way al-Qaeda operates after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States. They asked for a sentence of less than 20 years.

      Mr. Ressam, who trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, provided detailed descriptions of his training there and identified individuals who were also in the camps.
      ________________

      But, the prosecutors decided to get tough on Ressam, and decided that foregoing this information was more important than seeming "tough" even if it meant going against their promise.  

    •  Thanks (none)
      For the back-story.

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