Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Court Says Jihadist's Religious Faith Was Not Reason For Life Sentence

In Shnewer v. United States, ( NJ, March 2, 2016), a New Jersey federal district court rejected a claim by a jihadist who was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to kill United States military personnel that his religious beliefs were improperly used in determining his sentence.  As reported by NJ Advance Media, at issue was the sentence imposed on Mohamad Shnewer, a key figure in a foiled plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix and other military installations. In rejecting Shnewer's claims, the court said in part:
This Court did not use Mr. Shnewer’s devout Muslim faith to help this Court reach the conclusion that it would sentence him to ... life imprisonment, but rather ... this Court believed that Mr. Shnewer could not be rehabilitated and therefore posed a threat if released based upon his violent radical Islamic beliefs. This did not run afoul of the Constitution and did not amount to this Court using Mr. Shnewer’s devout Muslim faith to determine his sentence.