Man-Boy, Go Home

The debate continues over the fate of Salim Hamdan — Osama Bin Laden Bad boy, designated driver, and Guantanamo Bay detainee.

The prosecution has asked the judge in the case to reconsider sentencing, tossing out the allowance for time served.

We’re told prosecutors have petitioned Judge (Capt.) Keith J. Alfred, asking that the Hamdan jury’s verdict be set aside (our term) and that arguments be permitted for resentencing. Our guess is the judge will not appreciate the running of his court to be called into question. He will be less-than-thrilled with the challenge to his instructions regarding allowance for time served. That said, Alfred probably will grant the prosecution’s request for oral arguments, so everyone will shuffle off to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, again.

In August, Hamden was sentenced to nearly six years, with credit for the five and a half, he has been a guest at the island facility, putting his release date around Dec. 30. His defense team was pretty darned pleased since the Man-Boy of Yemen faced 30 years behind bars for conspiracy. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of material support for terrorism.

One of Hamdan’s defense attorneys (he’s probably biased) says the prosecution needs to make its challenge, but does not see much point.

One former military commission prosecutor was surprised by the move, but sees the merits. He noted Hamdan’s incarceration was lawful detention and not punitive pretrial confinement, so the judge had been “wrong” in his instructions to the jury allowing for credit for lawful detention. He says the prosecution is probably acting on principle; they figure they will lose at Guantanamo Bay, but will be able to appeal the decision to get a definitive ruling on pretrial confinement/lawful detention credit — an issue that might impact all future trials.

According to one source, both DoD and the convening authority have been at odds over Hamdan’s future. It seems DoD would like to send the Man-Boy packin’ back to Yemen — and the sooner the better. The convening authority wants him to serve his entire sentence.

Hamdan: Let freedom ring.

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