We now have the sentence - knoxnews.com reports:
KNOXVILLE - A federal judge today ordered a former University of Tennessee student who snooped through Sarah Palin's private e-mail account in 2008 to serve a year and a day for his crime and recommended that his time be served at a Knoxville halfway house.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips noted the sentence for David Kernell goes on the books as a term of imprisonment. He said the U.S. Bureau of Prisons could override his recommendation that Kernell spend his days over the next year at the Midway Rehabilitative Center on Magnolia Avenue.
Phillips said Kernell's actions in 2008 merited some form of imprisonment not because his victim was a prominent political figure but because what he did threatened "the expectation of privacy that we all have."
Kernell spoke today for the first time since he was charged.
"I'm not going to make any excuses," he told Phillips in court. "For the rest of my life I'm going to be ashamed and guilty for what I've done."
Phillips insisted that his recommendation for a halfway house should not be viewed as an act of leniency.
"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."
Kernell now attends Pellissippi State Community College, where he is a senior.
The judge said Kernell can continue his studetns during his sentence, and ordered that he continue to receive counseling for depression.
So the sentence is fortunately a little bit lighter than was to be expected from the earlier report. At least David Kernell can continue with his studies.
Still, this is an incredibly harsh sentence for a "crime" which should have been treated as misdemeanour with probation, just like the actions of "Acorn-pimp" James O'Keefe, who tampered with the phone lines of US Senator Mary Landrieu.
David Kernell will have a felony record for the rest of his life. It will without any doubt massively damage David Kernell's career opportunities, and will certainly have a significant impact on his whole life.
What is even more ridiculous is that Kernell was at first charged with four felonies.
An opportunity to rejoice for "mean girl" Sarah Palin, and for all others, even more reasons to fight against her.
Our previous story:
Today David Kernell will be sentenced by the court in Knoxville, Tennessee for guessing Sarah Palin's answer to her security question for her yahoo-account ("Wasilla High") and putting parts of the emails on the internet. Whether David Kernell then afterwards tried to hide his activities, is matter of dispute, and denied by David Kernell's lawyer.
There is bad news, because the judge has already mentioned that "probation is not an option."
KNOXVILLE - A U.S. judge has signaled he does not think a former University of Tennessee student who snooped through Sarah Palin's private e-mail account in 2008 should get probation.
U.S. District Thomas Phillips could make his decision about David Kernell's fate before lunch.
During court proceedings this morning, Phillips agreed Kernell should get a sentencing break, citing "the unique circumstances of this case."
But the judge said he is rejecting defense attorney Wade Davies' request for probation as well as the federal government's request an 18-month prison term.
Phillips heard arguments this morning from Davies in which he said Kernell of Memphis has a long history of depression and impulsive behavior. It was never more evidence, Davies said, than when at the age of 20 Kernell made the reckless decision to go perusing through the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate's Yahoo! account.
Phillips has taken a break in the hearing, and sentencing is still pending.
Palin and her daughter, Bristol, both testified at trial in late April that the hacking and harassment afterward caused their family emotional distress.
Palin previously declined to comment when asked if Kernell should be sent to prison, saying it should be up to the judge. She did not answer Associated Press messages seeking comment this week about the sentencing. Her attorney, Thomas van Flein, referred questions Thursday to prosecutors, saying Palin provided them a victim's statement.
So the Palins will most likely achieve another great success about their "enemies."
Given their proven track record in acting vindictive, this surely will make them very happy.
UPDATE - A look back in time: Sarah Palin and the use of her yahoo-accounts for state business
In the past, Sarah Palin used not one, not two, but three yahoo-accounts for conducting state business. These were
a) firstname.lastname@example.org (accessed by David Kernell)
The reason why David Kernell got to know about Sarah Palin's yahoo-account in the first place was that just shortly before he accessed the account, the existence of the account was revealed together with the information that Sarah Palin used the account routinely for state business.
Without Sarah Palin's misuse of her yahoo-account, David Kernell today would still be an unknown, happy student without a criminal conviction!
In many of these emails which dealt with state-business, members of Palin's administration were sending messages to Sarah's yahoo-account, sometimes VERY important messages (more below). In other cases, Sarah Palin sent emails from her yahoo account to her staff which clearly referred to her gubernational business.
Sarah Palin sent from her "email@example.com" account messages such as the following examples - from the Crivella West/MSNBC.COM database:
The emails prove that Sarah Palin often received important messages on her yahoo account which dealt with her gubernational business. One of the best examples which can be found in the Crivella West/MSNBC.COM database is an email by Ivy Frye, who on April 30, 2008 sent a comprehensive list of "legislation awaiting action" to Sarah's yahoo account, and noted for a particular bill: "The governor has until Friday, May 23, to sign and line-item veto or veto the bill".
There is another interesting fact which I found while researching this subject. Sarah Palin earlier had a very, very similar looking yahoo account, which she also used for her state business: An account with the address "firstname.lastname@example.org". What's the difference? Well, the "." is missing between "gov" and "palin" in this earlier email address!
I realized this fact when I read a report by Alaska Dispatch from January 2010. Attached to this report were a number of emails from Palin's administration which Alaska Dispatch received from an anonymous source, and which are not part of the Crivella West database. Download these emails HERE.
These emails reveal that Palin first used a "email@example.com" account without the "dot".
On February 2, 2007, Sarah Palin then sent a message to her most important staff members and told them that she has to "cancel" her "firstname.lastname@example.org" account and that she will open instead a "NEW personal/private/confidential account" with the address "email@example.com". No reason for this change was given in the email.
What happened then later to the "firstname.lastname@example.org" account? I don't know. But it appears that Sarah was also was unhappy with the "email@example.com" account, and in her unshaken faith to "Yahoo Inc" she then opened at some point the (third!) "firstname.lastname@example.org" account which she used in 2008 - and which David Kernell eventually accessed after looking up the answers to the "security questions" on Wikipedia.
Regarding the "email@example.com" address:
Although this address was not subject of the trial in Knoxville, I would like to point out that you get 50 hits in the Crivella West/MSNBC.COM database if you search for this email address! Dates from beginning of 2007 up to end of August 2008! So the incredible Sarah juggled with two different yahoo accounts at the same time. Why are we not surprised?
Here is a particularly good example of an email written by "firstname.lastname@example.org" - one of the infamous Dairygate emails, a huge scandal of Palin's administration (read the details of Dairygate HERE).