- Cape businessman known for starting NARS dies at 49 (2/23/17)9
- Apparent punch at girls basketball game propels lawmaker into action (2/21/17)4
- Business notebook: Owners ready to roll out the Barrel 131 (2/20/17)7
- Japanese restaurant up and running; owner surprised by fondness of sushi here (2/24/17)1
- SoutheastHEALTH, Washington University School of Medicine announce collaboration (2/24/17)21
- Missouri bill would limit transgender school bathroom access (2/22/17)48
- City issues precautionary boil order near Arena Park (2/23/17)
- Annual father-daughter dance provides some fun bonding time (2/19/17)1
- $22M bond issue would alter Jackson schools (2/22/17)13
- Former KFVS12 reporter talks about recovery from eating disorder (2/23/17)11
Defense tries to change image of American-born Taliban
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- From the Taliban soldier with unkempt hair to the courtroom defendant with a neat haircut and black-framed glasses, John Walker Lindh has physically transformed into the image his lawyers want a jury to see.
Since Lindh's return to the United States in January, a defense team of former prosecutors has tried to counter the government's portrait of a terrorist who hated America with that of a more sympathetic but misguided young man.
In recent weeks the lawyers have introduced evidence and arguments that Lindh sought refuge in Islam but wanted to escape the Taliban after being horrified by the Sept. 11 attacks.
They argue he was so afraid during his first encounter with U.S. Marines that he begged not to be killed after his surrender.
"What they're saying is, 'He's a clean-cut kid, just like your son, who maybe was misguided and got caught up in something he shouldn't have got caught up in,"' Joseph Aronica, a former prosecutor, said of the defense strategy. "Now he looks clean-cut."
Lindh's chances of acquittal, in a district with thousands of retired and active government workers, may well depend on the defense's success in changing his image.