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August-25-04

Judge Delays Sentencing for Clayton Lee Waagner

US District Judge Anita Brody signed an order to delay the sentencing of self-proclaimed anti-abortion "terrorist" Clayton Lee Waagner until the US Supreme Court rules on two unrelated cases that will clarify federal sentencing guidelines. Waagner was convicted of mailing envelopes filled with fake anthrax to women’s health clinics in December 2003. At his trial, Wagner called himself a terrorist, saying that those who provide abortions deserve to be shot, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Waagner is expected to face decades in prison on counts that include threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction. Waagner was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list after escaping from prison in 2001, reports WATE.com, at which time authorities found a pipe bomb and anti-abortion literature in a vehicle he had abandoned.

The constitutionality of federal sentencing guidelines, in place for the past 17 years, was called into question recently when the US Supreme Court ruled that only juries, not judges, have the authority to lengthen the sentence of a convict past the statutory norm, according to CentreDaily.com. The Supreme Court will likely take up the matter in October. In the meantime, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Waagner is already serving a 49-year term for weapons violations and car theft.

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Media Resources: Seattle Post-Intelligencer 8/23/04; WATE.com 8/23/04; CentreDaily.com 8/24/04

   

     

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