RealNews

Terror Sentences Brief, Study Finds

Justice officials have trumpeted prosecutions since 9/11, but length of prison terms decreased. A new study of Justice Department terrorism prosecutions since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks shows that while the government has convicted 184 people of crimes deemed to be “international terrorism,” defendants were sentenced to a median prison term of just 14 days — and in some cases received no jail time at all. This is among the conclusions of a study, released Sunday, by researchers at Syracuse University who examined government terrorism prosecution data. In its two-year war on terrorism, the Justice Department has trumpeted a number of high-profile convictions and lengthy prison terms won against alleged terrorist sympathizers and supporters in federal courtrooms. But the study found that, in the most serious cases, sentences are actually shorter. The number of defendants sentenced to five years or more for terrorism-related crimes declined in the two years after the attacks compared with the two years before them, the authors found. Full Story

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