Palin e-mail hacker sentenced

After a number of delays, former University of Tennessee student David Kernel has finally received his sentence for compromising Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! e-mail account back in 2008.

He was found guilty of computer fraud and obstruction of justice (for destroying records in order to disrupt the federal investigation) and while the maximum possible penalty for this last felony is 20 years in prison, Kernel has been sentenced to serving a year and a day in federal custody and the judge imposing the sentence recommended that the time be served in a Tennessee halfway house.

The recommendation may not be enough, as the Bureau of Prisons could exercise its right and send him to prison after all. Along with the imprisonment, Kernel will also remain on probation for the next three years.

The sentence might not be enough for some, but the judge says that “even if the defendant serves his sentence at a halfway house, this combined with a criminal conviction is significant punishment … and a sufficient restriction of the defendant’s liberty.” According to KnoxNews, he also allowed Kernell – who is now a student of the Pellissippi State Community College – to continue his education.

As regards Sarah Palin, she issued a statement after the trial on her Facebook page: “Violating the law, or simply invading someone’s privacy for political gain, has long been repugnant to Americans’ sense of fair play. As Watergate taught us, we rightfully reject illegally breaking into candidates’ private communications for political intrigue in an attempt to derail an election.”

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