WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Family members and attorneys of the so-called American Taliban renewed their request to U.S. President George Bush to release the man from federal prison.
John Walker Lindh, 27, who converted to Islam as a teen, pleaded guilty in July 2002 to one count of providing services to the Taliban and one count of carrying explosives during a felony. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and has served seven.
Raj Chatterjee, one of Lindh's attorneys, said other people detained or charged under similar or more serious circumstances than Lindh were released after serving less time, the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune reported.
"There's a fundamental principle of U.S. jurisprudence, and that is that prison sentences must be fair and similar cases should be treated similarly," he said. "It has become abundantly clear that John has been treated differently."
Lindh, who fought for the Taliban before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, had faced charges that could have sent him to prison for life, including conspiring to kill Americans abroad. In exchange for his guilty plea, all terrorism-related charges were dropped.
Lindh's father, Frank Lindh, said the family hopes Bush acts because the events occurred during his administration. Also, they said Bush initially called Lindh a "poor fellow" who "has been misled," even though he later supported the Californian's prosecution.