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Jose Padilla, 17 Years? Not Enough.

MIAMI (AP) [1] – Jose Padilla, once accused of plotting with al-Qaida to blow up a radioactive “dirty bomb,” was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years and four months on terrorism conspiracy charges that don’t mention those initial allegations.

Cooke also imposed prison terms on two other men of Middle Eastern origin who were convicted of conspiracy and material support charges along with Padilla in August. The three were part of a North American support cell for al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists around the world, prosecutors said.

Jurors in the criminal case never heard Padilla’s full history, which according to U.S. officials included a graduation from the al-Qaida terror camp, a plot to detonate the “dirty bomb” and a plot to fill apartments with natural gas and blow them up. Much of what Padilla supposedly told interrogators during his long detention as an enemy combatant could not be used in court because he had no access to a lawyer and was not read his constitutional rights.

That’s not even close to what was needed. This kind of miscarriage of justice is what happens when we give Terrorists constitutional rights, as John McCain advises.  Justice would have involved a rope, several well placed gunshots, and a cattle prod.