Somali Pirates: Teen to Be Sentenced for Hijacking U.S. Ship (UPDATE)

Naive teenager or ruthless ringleader?

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Convicted Somali pirate Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse

UPDATE: Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse was sentenced to 33 years and 9 months in prison. Federal Judge Loretta Preska in New York said the sentence serves as "general deterrence in this kind of crime." Original Buzz post appears below.

MSNBC is reporting that convicted pirate Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse will be sentenced today in a Manhattan courtroom. Muse admits to being a modern-day pirate. Prosecutors say that he has a ruthless streak, terrorizing merchant ships on the Indian Ocean and deriving pleasure from threatening passengers. Prosecutors argued that Muse's ruthlessness is one reason he should get nearly 34 years at sentencing.

Defense attorneys have countered in their court papers that their client, who's from Somalia, is an impoverished and naive young man whose crimes were born of desperation.

Muse was involved in a brazen high-seas attack on a U.S.-flagged vessel in 2009. The dramatic rescue of the ship's kidnapped captain made him an instant symbol of a 21st-century brand of piracy targeting shipping routes off the coast of Africa.

Muse's lawyer argued that the boy, who is 15 years old, committed the crimes under threat and should be tried as a juvenile. Muse reportedly wept and seemed overwhelmed during the trial. In a guilty plea last year, Muse told a judge he was "very, very sorry about what we did."

Muse is learning at a young age that sorry doesn't always cut it, and if you do the crime, you have to do the time. While it is sad that he was conditioned and trained to commit these acts by adults as a child, it does not change the fact that he is guilty. What's sadder is that this boy's life was over before it ever really began.

Read more at MSNBC.

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