[JURIST] Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] was sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison Tuesday in connection with his conviction [JURIST report] on terrorism-related charges. US District Judge Marcia Cooke [official profile] handed down the sentence following two weeks of sentencing hearings, during which the government sought life sentences for Padilla and his two co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifadh Wael Jayyousi [GlobalSecurity profiles]. The defense team raised over 90 objections to a prosecutorial report supporting the request for life sentences, arguing it misrepresented the evidence presented at trial; Padilla's lawyers argued for a 10-year sentence, while lawyers for Hassoun and Jayyousi asked for penalties of four to six years and probation, respectively. Hassoun was sentenced to 15 years and eight months while Jayyousi received a 12-year, eight-month sentence. Cooke ruled last week that she could apply enhanced federal terrorism penalties [JURIST report] in the case, which in effect permitted her to consider the death penalty.
Padilla, Hassoun and Jayyousi were convicted in August 2007 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.