CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Torture, Acquitted Counts Not Enough to Reduce Sentence for Ex-Detainee

From the New York Times:

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first former detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to be tried in the civilian court system, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for his role in the 1998 bombings of two United States Embassies in East Africa.

. . .

The defense had asked the judge for a lesser sentence, citing the extraordinary circumstances of Mr. Ghailani’s case, like the years he spent in detention in a so-called black site run by the C.I.A., where his lawyers say he was tortured.

But the judge, Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said that no matter how Mr. Ghailani was treated while in detention, “the impact on him pales in comparison to the suffering and the horror that he and his confederates caused.”

. . .

Although Mr. Ghailani was acquitted of more than 280 charges of murder and conspiracy, the judge focused on the solitary conviction of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property.

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