RealNews

Sniper Case Judge Keeps Terrorism Charge

A judge refused to dismiss one of the two capital murder charges Monday against sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad, rejecting claims that prosecutors are overreaching in trying to apply Virginia’s new terrorism law to the crime spree. The ruling from Circuit Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. is the first ever on Virginia’s untested terrorism law, passed after the Sept. 11 attacks with the intention of punishing “evil masterminds” of terrorist attacks like Osama bin Laden. Defense lawyer Peter Greenspun argued that prosecutors were twisting a law designed for the likes of bin Laden. He said the law is written so vaguely that any crime that produces fear in a community — bank robberies or serial rapes, for example — could conceivably be prosecuted as terrorism. “The prosecution is trying to put a square peg into a round hole. They’re trying to fit what can best be described as a crime spree, as serious as it was, into a terrorism statute,” Greenspun said. Full Story

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