It will take at least a few more months before Jose Padilla, the trained al-Qaida fighter from Broward County, can be resentenced for supporting terrorism, prosecutors told a federal judge Wednesday in Miami.
Wearing beige prison scrubs, Padilla did not speak and kept his eyes cast downward during the brief court hearing.
Padilla, 43, flashed smiles at his mother, Estela Ortega Lebron, of Plantation, as he was led in and out of the courtroom.
Padilla is serving just over 17 years in federal prison after being convicted of terrorism support and conspiracy charges in 2007.
A federal appeals court later ruled that he should be resentenced — possibly to a harsher term.
Padilla lived in Broward County in the 1990s and converted to Islam while he was serving time in the Broward Sheriff's Office jail. He later underwent terrorism training overseas with al-Qaida in the year before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The former Chicago gang member's criminal history includes a murder conviction and about 17 arrests, records show.
Padilla's case drew international attention when he was arrested in 2002 and initially accused of planning to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" on U.S. soil.
Prosecutors later dropped that allegation, but he was convicted of the other charges after a long trial in 2007 in Miami.
Padilla's detention in a series of very restrictive conditions since 2002 raised concerns among some human rights groups and others who allege that he underwent mental and physical torture by the U.S. military during his nearly four years at a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C.
After his sentencing, Padilla spent about 4 1/2 years in solitary confinement in the "Supermax" federal prison in Florence, Colo., which houses inmates who are considered extremely dangerous or high-profile. Some of the notorious current and former inmates include Unabomber Ted Kaczynksi and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombers.
In 2011, the appellate court ruled that U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke had erred and discounted the extent of Padilla's full criminal history when she sentenced him to significantly less than the 30 years to life he was facing.
Padilla was moved back to the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami in late 2012 for resentencing, but there have been a series of delays in the case.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutor Brian Frazier told Cooke that his office has turned over more than 6,000 pages of classified information and 2,500 unclassified documents to the defense.
It will take about two months to turn over another 4,700 or so classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defense, he said.
Padilla's longtime lawyer, Michael Caruso, who is the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida, had also asked for delays because of concerns about Padilla's mental health.
The judge said she wants to move things along and plans to set a date for the resentencing hearing soon.
Prosecutors and Padilla's lawyer and his family all declined to comment.
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