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Shelby Argues Against Commuted Sentence

By Alabama Public Radio

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is opposing a request to commute the 20-year prison sentence of John Walker Lindh. Lindh is the California man who pleaded guilty to assisting the Taliban government in Afghanistan. His lawyers asked for the commuted sentence in September. They've argued that Lindh was not a terrorist and never fought against U.S. troops. But in recent letters to the White House and to the U.S. Justice Department, Shelby said Lindh should serve the full term. President Bush will ultimately decide whether to commute sentences, but he does receive recommendations from the pardon attorney in the Justice Department. Lindh was sentenced in 2002 after pleading guilty to two counts of supplying services to the Taliban and of carrying explosives in the commission of a felony. He was 21 years old and, at the time of the sentencing, told the judge that joining the Taliban was a mistake.

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