Appeals court to again consider Ressam sentence



SEATTLE (AP) — A federal appeals court will once again consider whether the 22-year prison sentence imposed on would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam was adequate.

Last year, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the sentence imposed twice by a federal judge in Seattle was too lenient. The panel also removed U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour (KOO’-en-our) from the case, saying it doubted his impartiality.

Seattle Federal Public Defender Tom Hillier asked the 9th Circuit to reconsider. The Seattle Times ( reports than an order issued late Tuesday by Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski vacates the earlier ruling. He has sent the case to be reheard by a larger panel of judges.

Ressam was arrested in Washington state in December 1999 on his way to bomb Los Angeles International Airport.

Coughenour has said 22 years was a fair sentence, given Ressam’s post-conviction cooperation.


Information from: The Seattle Times,