The judge in Jose Padilla's trial, according to the New York Times account of his sentencing "questioned the range and impact of the conspiracy, saying that there was no evidence linking the men to specific acts of terrorism anywhere or that their actions had resulted in death or injury to anyone."
He was nonetheless sentenced to 17 years and four months. He even got time served for his three and 1/2 years in a South Carolina military brig, where he was subject to "prolonged isolation and intensive interrogations in conditions that the judge called "harsh.""
This result is seen as a defeat for federal prosecutors, who wanted life (and who long ago gave up on their first reason for arresting him, a supposed plan to set off a "dirty bomb" in the U.S. of A.)
Me from 9/11/06 on the generally dubious record of post-9/11 terror trials.
Jacob Sullum neatly sums up most of the disturbing elements of the story of Padilla's arrest, initial charges, military imprisonment, and trial back in August.
Matt Welch noted the disturbing levels of secrecy and misdirection in the way the White House and DOJ handled the Padilla case back in November 2005.
Harvey Silverglate from Jan. 2005 on the Supreme Court's record on "enemy combatants."