Defining Terrorism Down

Would you believe that the median sentence length given to a terrorist has fallen since 9/11?  In fact, it’s fallen by a lot, from 41 months of prison time to just 20 days of prison time.  Have we gotten soft on terrorism?  Of course not.  In my judgment, sentence length has fallen because in an effort to increase the terrorism stats and scare us all into compliance the FBI and other government agencies have defined terrorism down. The situation has gotten so absurd that in recent years Federal prosecutors have declined to prosecute approximately 90% of the international terrorism cases brought to them by the investigative agencies.

Read the whole report here.

I am at least heartened by the fact that our decentralized system of justice means that prosecutors need not feel that they must march in lockstep with the agencies and the administration.  This is another reason to oppose abandoning the traditional American system of justice for "military tribunals" and other dependent courts not subject to checks, balances and review.

Hat tip to Boing Boing Blog.


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