By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
In February, Mihalik told Judge Tucker that she was "ashamed" of her conduct and viewed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., as "the heinous act of evil-minded" people.
"I am deeply sorry," Mihalik wrote to Tucker. "I love the United States of America and consider it my home country since this country allowed me to achieve all my career and personal goals, widened my perspective in life to appreciate freedom, equality and liberty. I have admiration of the system [in which] people from all over the world with different backgrounds and traditions live in peace and harmony. I realize my American dream has been ruined. . . . Looking back at my conduct and recounting the events, I can clearly see how disturbed I was emotionally."
In their quest for leniency, Mihalik's lawyers assert that she is "no risk" to the U.S. now and noted that other terrorism-related criminals have won punishment below federal guidelines, including Osama bin Laden's personal assistant, a Holy Land Foundation activist, a funder of Hamas and two Earth Liberation Front members.
Heinz isn't swayed, calling the defendant's request for a relatively light punishment "not justified." I would explain her position fully if I could. However, she redacted nearly 100 lines from her sentencing memorandum.
Whatever prison sentence Tucker renders on March 29, one portion of the punishment is already known: When Mihalik eventually emerges from her prison stint, she'll be deported back to Turkey. According to her plea deal, she will be allowed to return to the U.S. under one condition: She obtains written permission from high-ranking, national-security officials.