NEW YORK – Decades after going to prison, some of the men responsible for the World Trade Center bombing that killed six people 28 years ago Friday are still trying to whittle down their onetime life sentences on the remote chance that they could someday be freed.
And they are having some success.
In the last year, four men implicated in the 1993 bombing have won reductions to their sentences after one part of their convictions was dropped to be consistent with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Once each sentenced to 240 years in prison, appeals have won them sentence deductions as they continue efforts to get judges to take fresh looks at their cases.
While unlikely, all four could be freed if they live long enough.
Ahmad Mohammad Ajaj, 55, could be freed when he is 96 after 30 years were shaved off his sentence last month. Nidal Ayyad, 53, Mohammad A. Salameh, 53, and Mahmud Abouhalima, 61, could be freed if they each live to be 100.
All received sentence reductions in the last year.
Historically, incarceration has not been recommended for longevity. Ajaj noted in a court filing last year that he has chronic health problems after facing cancer, the removal of his left lung and a severe spinal disorder.