Big Difference in Two Sentences for Al-Qaida Soldier Captured at 15
Posted Nov 1, 2010 8:27 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Canadian youth who pleaded guilty in the grenade death of a U.S. soldier was sentenced Sunday to eight more years in custody.
A military jury had recommended a 40-year sentence for Omar Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15, according to the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. But the military judge overseeing the case was limited by a plea bargain that capped the future sentence at eight years. The plea cap was not revealed to the jurors.
Under military commission rules, jurors decide a sentence even when a plea bargain sets the maximum time to be served. The detainee serves the shorter of the two sentences.
The recommended 40-year sentence was 15 years more that sought by prosecutors, the Los Angeles Times says. Khadr will not get credit for eight years already spent at Guantanamo. After serving one year of the new sentence, Khadr will be eligible to apply to serve the rest of his sentence in Canada.