American Terrorism Trials: Prosecutorial and Defense by Christopher A. Shields

By Christopher A. Shields

Considering that 1980, prosecutors and safeguard lawyers dealing with federal terrorism trials have built politicized concepts and counter concepts designated to terrorism trials, and people techniques have had an important influence on case results. in addition, case results have been definitely impacted via proactive coverage alterations carried out within the wake of 9-11. construction on structural contextual concept and the hydraulic influence, Shields reveals that once prosecutors count much less seriously on hugely politicized prosecution options, conviction premiums elevated. actually, his findings point out that the extra prosecutors politicize a case, the much more likely the case is going to trial, expanding the percentages of acquittal.

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The rationale for this strategy is to defeat the “motive” element alleged by the prosecutor by showing that, instead of possessing a terrorist motive, the defendant’s beliefs were benign and they were the target of an overzealous witch hunt because their beliefs fell outside of the mainstream. , traditional defense). 11 Some defense attorneys have pursued a freedom fighter strategy, where the defendant claims that he or she was part of a legitimate effort to replace an existing, but corrupt, government.

This means that the post-9/11 group may be more under-inclusive than the pre- 9/11 group, but that is the best alternative currently available. Bail is a nominal level variable measuring whether or not a defendant was released on bail. If the defendant was released, the variable was coded 1. If the defendant remained incarcerated, the variable was coded 0. Research by Albonetti (1990) found that the reason bail is denied can impact the severity of sentence a defendant receives. Namely, when a defendant is deemed dangerous, and held without bail, Albonetti found that he or she is more likely to receive a longer sentence.

16 The Defense strategy variable (defmeth_recode) is a nominal level variable. For bivariate analyses, the study used the three most common defense methods from the ATS. The first defense strategy, political persecution (coded 1), consists of those cases where the defendant claimed that he or she was innocent and being prosecuted because of his or her political and/or religious beliefs. Second, the defense strategy disassociation (coded 2) is comprised of cases where the defendant attempted to distance herself/himself from group members and/or an ideology.

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