Sentencing the “Minnesota men”

Nine “Minnesota men” have pleaded guilty (six) or been convicted (three) in the big ISIS conspiracy case that was originally filed in Minnesota last year. “Minnesota men” is the preferred media descriptor of the Somali defendants in the case.

The case was assigned to Judge Michael Davis, before whom the case was tried over three weeks this past May. I attended the trial and wrote about it every day on Power Line. I also covered the case in three articles for the Weekly Standard (all of which are accessible here) and in the City Journal column “ISIS in the Twin Cities.”

Judge Davis has scheduled the sentencing of all nine men over hearings scheduled over three days, November 14-16. I plan on attending and reporting what happens at the hearings.

This past Thursday the parties filed memoranda supporting proposed sentences as to each of the nine defendants. Stephen Montemayor covers the memoranda and the parties’ proposed sentences in the Star Tribune article “Shorter sentences sought for ISIL recruitment defendants.”

I have been particularly interested in the prosecution’s proposed sentences for the three men whose trial I attended. The government urges a 40-year sentence on Guled Omar and 30-year sentences on Mohamed Farah and Abdirahman Daud.

The government’s memoranda are long, detailed and powerful. In court and in the government’s memoranda, the Obama administration’s political correctness falls away. The euphemisms evanesce. Toward the end of the government’s memorandum on Omar one finds this:

Respect for the law is a particularly important factor in this case. No trial in the aggregate memory of the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been conducted in more of an atmosphere of intimidation, harassment, and incipient violence than the trial of this case. The families of cooperating defendants were harassed in the courtroom, in full view of the testifying witness; there was a fistfight in the corridor outside the courtroom; multiple individuals had to be ejected from the courtroom for not following the Court’s rules of behavior. A stern sentence is needed to promote respect for the law, to demonstrate clearly that this is a nation of laws.

* * * * *

As the Court witnessed in the Courtroom and surrounding press coverage, despite the gravity of the charges, the defendants had significant community support.

I have tried to emphasize these points myself here and in the articles I wrote about the trial. I highly doubt that you will find these devastating observations quoted or explored in the Star Tribune or elsewhere. I want to take the liberty of bringing them to your attention and asking you to let them sink in this morning.


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