A federal judge in New Jersey says the Boston Marathon bombings didn't affect his sentencing of two terrorism defendants this week.

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U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise sentenced Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte on Monday, around the time that news of the bombing broke. Alessa received 22 years, while Almonte was sentenced to 20 years.

The two New Jersey men were arrested in 2010 and pleaded guilty to conspiring to join an armed Islamic group in Somalia with ties to al-Qaida.

In a letter filed Thursday, Debevoise denied a defense attorney's claim that a note he received from a court staffer mentioned the bombings. Instead, he writes, it related to his wife who had gone to the hospital the day before.

Alessa's attorney didn't immediately return an email Friday seeking comment.


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