Sarah Palin Hacker Asks Judge for Leniency

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With prosecutors seeking an 18-month prison sentence, Sarah Palin hacker David Kernell is asking the judge in his case for probation instead.

In court filings, Kernell's lawyers argue that his "youth and emotional condition" justify a reduced sentence and that what he did was an "aberration from his normal course of conduct."

"The public humiliation, trial, and felony conviction are enough to deter any further violations of the law," Kernell's lawyers said in a court filing entered Tuesday. The filing was first reported by The Smoking Gun.

Kernell was convicted on April 30 of resetting Palin's password to gain access to the e-mail account used by the 2008 vice-presidential candidate. Kernell, who was a 20-year-old college student at the time, posted information from the account to the 4chan website.

According to chat logs, Kernell hoped to find incriminating information on Palin to "derail" her election campaign. Instead, he uncovered only mundane e-mail conversations.

To support their motion, Kernell's lawyers filed school and medical records under seal that include information on treatment their client received as a juvenile.

In a sentencing memorandum Wednesday, prosecutors asked for an 18-month sentence. The "personal history and characteristics of the defendant reveal a person who has a clear disregard for the law," the prosecutors said.

Kernell is due to be sentenced on Nov. 12 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is

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