DOJ to reduce prison communications limits on 'American Taliban' Lindh Benjamin Hackman at 12:44 PM ET
[JURIST] A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] said Wednesday that the DOJ will limit prison restrictions on John Walker Lindh [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], a California man known as the "American Taliban." Lindh is serving a 20-year sentence in an Indiana federal prison after pleading guilty [plea agreement] in 2002 to supplying services to the Taliban. DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd said certain restrictions on Lindh will be lifted [AP report] Friday. Boyd did not discuss the details of the restrictions, but Lindh's lawyer said [Los Angeles Times report] Lindh will be allowed to visit with more people.
After pleading guilty to a charge [indictment] of aiding the Taliban, Lindh repeatedly asked then-president George W. Bush to reduce his 20-year sentence. Bush declined [JURIST report] to do so. The Associated Press [media website] then sued the DOJ to gain access under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] to Lindh's petition for commutation. In December, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] the lower court's ruling that Lindh's petition fell under a FOIA invasion-of-privacy exception and as such was not available to the public.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.