Defendant Abdulmutallab filed three pleadings in seventy- two hours (between February 13 and 15, 2012) representing one response and two Motions, including a Motion to Hold Mandatory Life Statute Unconstitutional, as it is Cruel and Unusual Punishment, and Violative of the Commerce Clause as Applied and for a Sentence notwithstanding the Advisory Guideline Range and Request for a Variance .
Even though, it is not very clear whether he instructed his standby Attorney, Mr. Anthony Chambers, to file these pleadings, but on the face of it, these can be seen as desperate moves to stop the Abdulmutallab from receiving the mandatory life sentence.
However, as I said about two months ago, it could also be that he is preparing grounds for his eventual appeal should the Judge give him the mandatory life sentence in accordance with the sentencing guidelines. You will recall that he has already pleaded guilty to the charges and his guilty plea was informed and voluntary which may have altered his right to appeal.
However, by filing a Motion to Hold Mandatory Life Statute Unconstitutional and requesting a Variance, Abdulmutallab is trying to force the window of appeal slightly ajar so that he can have something to hold on to for the Court of Appeal’s review in the very likely event that the Judge denies the Motion and gives him the mandatory life.
Be that as it may, Abdulmutallab is carrying a whole lot of aggravating baggage on his shoulders and these factors might weigh very heavily against him during the sentencing. If you look at his demeanors since the beginning of the trial, you will see a young man who has already given up his life and who was determined to perform what he considered to be a sacred duty to kill, maim and destroy. He cannot face the world again, so, what difference would life sentence make to him anyway?
He sees his action as a Devine obligation and up till this moment, he has not demonstrated anything to the contrary or done anything to show that his convictions have changed over time which means that he can still be considered to be very dangerous and should not be unleashed again to the world. All of these can be considered as aggravating factors which might sway the mind of the judge one way or the other this afternoon during his sentencing.