Walker Lindh Parents Ask Bush To Free Son

Marilyn Walker, left, and Frank Lindh, right, smile after a news conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. Both parents of American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh are asking President Bush to set their son free before the president leaves office next month. Lindh was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2002 to serving in the Taliban army, which violated U.S. economic sanctions against Afghanistan at that time. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

The parents of American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh are asking President George W. Bush to set their son free before Bush leaves office next month.

Lindh was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2002 to serving in the Taliban army, which violated U.S. economic sanctions against Afghanistan at that time.

At a news conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Lindh's mother, Marilyn Walker, asked the president to show mercy during the Christmas season by commuting her son's sentence.

Lindh initially asked for a commutation in 2004 and his lawyers have renewed the request each year.

The U.S. Department of Justice has never acted on the petition and a spokeswoman didn't immediately return a telephone call.

After spending four years at a medium security federal prison in Victorville, California, Lindh was quietly and without explanation transferred in February of 2007 to the nation's toughest maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies.

When they learned the news later that year, it came as a surprise to Lindh's parents and longtime lawyer, Jim Brosnahan. "We didn't know where he was," Brosnahan told CBS News. "We do not know why he is there. There is even some talk they might move him farther East."
  • CBSNews

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