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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Big Trials and Legal Cases
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VDemosthenes
QUOTE
The man convicted of plotting to blow up the Los Angeles airport on the eve of the millennium has refused to resume cooperating with the government, his lawyers acknowledged in a court filing Monday.



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Ressam, 38, was arrested in December 1999 at Port Angeles about 65 miles northwest of Seattle, as he drove off a ferry from British Columbia with a trunk full of bomb-making materials.



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After he was convicted of terrorist conspiracy and explosives charges at trial in 2001, Ressam began cooperating in hopes of winning a reduced sentence.



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Ressam told terrorism investigators from several countries about the operation of terrorist camps, but he quit cooperating by early 2003. His lawyers said years of solitary confinement took their toll on his mental state, but prosecutors insisted he simply didn't feel like cooperating any more.



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Prosecutors have recommended a 35-year sentence; Ressam's lawyers have asked for 12 years.




The Story


Questions for Debate:

1.) Given the circumstances, how long a sentence should he be given? Based on what factors?

2.) How plausible is it that he became mentally incapable of cooperating?

3.) Is there a possible explanation to why he ceased aiding the government? If so, please outline.



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Victoria Silverwolf
1. I'm not a legal expert, but the actual sentence he got (22 years) seems in the right ballpark. This is a very serious crime, and requires a serious sentence. The fact that the sentence was reduced somewhat because he provided valuable information seems reasonable. I have to agree with the judge in this case:

QUOTE
In sentencing Ressam, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour (search) said he hoped to balance U.S. resolve to punish potential terrorist acts with Ressam's cooperation. Coughenour also said he hoped to send a message that the U.S. court system works in terrorism cases.

"We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely or deny the defendant the right to counsel. ... Our courts have not abandoned the commitment to the ideals that set this nation apart," he said.


2 and 3. Without further information, I can't really say. It's possible. Maybe he just gave up, figuring he had gotten as much benefit as he wanted. Who knows?







Vandeervecken
QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ Jul 27 2005, 11:26 AM)
Questions for Debate:

1.) Given the circumstances, how long a sentence should he be given? Based on what factors?

2.) How plausible is it that he became mentally incapable of cooperating?

3.) Is there a possible explanation to why he ceased aiding the government? If so, please outline.




1) Life With No Parole He tried to wage war on civilians in our nation. He cooperated some so instead of executing him, we should just lock him up till he is dead.
2) Not very in my opinion.
3) I beleive he has started to fear the Mulsims alreayd in our prison system. Just a hunch.
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