There are 2 points of consideration: the Court’s dismissal of Abdulrahman’s choice of representation and the unreasonable sentence of 40 years discounting his age and mental health.
According to the appeal, a defendant’s youth and mental health issues have always been recognised by the Supreme Court of the United States as factors that mitigate accountability and the nature of the sentence. Mr. Frisch points out that Judge Berman was skeptical of the prognosis of not only Abdulrahman – but of young people – despite the progression observed by the medical professionals who testified in court.
“People with these lifelong — particularly I’m now talking about mental health issues, which I suspect is a lifelong problem for him — and later on, combined with this severe drug addiction that he has, this is anecdotal, but I haven’t seen the ability to make that turnaround, to go from that situation to being a functioning law-abiding — we have to say because we’re a court — but productive member of society.”
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"What makes this story even more disturbing is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knowingly participated in this sting with the FBI. They unlawfully obtained Abdulrahman’s medical records that described his mental health vulnerabilities and provided them to the FBI to better manipulate this damaged youth.
This raises serious human rights concerns of discriminatory investigations, targeting vulnerable youths such as Abdulrahman, who had no previous history of violence or criminality, until drawn in by a U.S. government actively involved in developing the plot, persuading and pressuring the target to participate."