The legal jihad continues long after the physical jihad. Technically he didn’t get to appeal, his motion to vacate was dismissed.
An Iraqi refugee and former Bowling Green resident serving a life sentence for terror-related offenses failed to prove his attorney was ineffective in representing him, and his motion to have his life sentence vacated should be dismissed, a federal judge has recommended.
Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 29, has been incarcerated since 2011 on allegations that he attempted to provide weapons and money to terrorists in Iraq while he lived in Bowling Green.
Hammadi pleaded guilty the following year in U.S. District Court to all charges in a 12-count indictment, including a count of conspiring to export surface-to-air missile launcher systems, which netted him the life sentence.
A co-defendant, Waad Alwan, pleaded guilty to similar counts and received a 40-year sentence.
Hammadi appealed for a reduction to his sentence, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit denied his motion.
In 2015, Hammadi moved for his sentence to be vacated on the grounds that he had ineffective assistance of counsel from his court-appointed attorney, James Earhart.
At an evidentiary hearing held in June in Louisville, Hammadi contended that he was advised by Earhart that he would not receive a life sentence if he pleaded guilty, and also claimed that he did not know a life sentence was a possible result of his plea, or else he would not have pleaded guilty.
Hammadi also claimed that Earhart was ineffective for failing to advise him to share information with the government before entering a plea.
The U.S. government responded that Earhart’s decision not to have Hammadi proffer with the government was a strategic move to ensure that federal prosecutors did not have evidence they could use to hamper Hammadi’s ability to testify on his own behalf should the case have gone to trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Brent Brennenstuhl wrote in a 37-page opinion on Thursday that Hammadi failed to establish that Earhart was ineffective.
Relying on Earhart’s testimony from the evidentiary hearing, Brennenstuhl found that Hammadi offered no evidence that Earhart advised his client that he would not receive a life sentence if he pleaded guilty.
Hammadi also argued that Earhart was ineffective for failing to prepare for trial, including a failure to interview witnesses and investigate evidence.
In court documents, Hammadi claimed that Earhart should have interviewed Alwan in order to gather evidence about Hammadi’s financial situation as part of his defense, and that Earhart should have called FBI agents who interviewed Hammadi as witnesses at the sentencing hearing.
Federal prosecutors responded that testimony about Alwan’s knowledge of Hammadi’s terrorist activity in Iraq would have blunted any potential benefit of having him testify, and that the FBI agents would have testified that Hammadi was uncooperative and made excuses for his conduct.
“Given this evidence, Earhart was wise not to call to the stand agents who would serve no other purpose than to reinforce the United States’ position,” Brennenstuhl wrote. “Earhart’s actions were not only reasonable, but strategic, and his performance was therefore not deficient.”
This unvetted Iraqi Muslim Refugee Who Bragged About Bombing US Soldiers should never have been allowed into the United States and should be deported rather than spending forty years of taxpayer money recruiting jihadists in prison.
Last week a Somali Muslim refugee lost his latest round of legal jihad as well.
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