Nine-Year Sentence of Terrorist Suspect Upheld by Circuit

, New York Law Journal

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Chin said Dearie did not err when he considered the degree of harm that an individual LTTE member "caused or intended to cause to the United States," and while Dearie had noted the LTTE did not pose a direct threat to the United States, Chin said the district court "also made clear that it understood that individuals who violate our laws are subject to punishment here even if they are not a direct threat to the United States."

Chin then rejected the prosecution's claim that Dearie was weighing whether the goals of the LTTE were more or less blameworthy, saying "we do not believe this is a fair characterization of the district court's consideration of the LTTE and its goals."

"The district court was not opining that the LTTE was less 'blameworthy' than other terrorist organizations," he said. "Instead, the district court was merely trying to understand Pratheepan's motivations."

"Pratheepan's motivation was certainly relevant to the determination of his punishment, and it was appropriate for the district court to take his motivation into account."

Michael Sporn argued for Pratheepan.

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