Terrorism is Different: Experts and Terrorism Representations
Forthcoming, (Winter 2017) MACDL VI (Published by the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys)
12 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 28, 2017
Death penalty lawyers have long known that it takes a village to represent an individual in a politically-charged case with serious sentencing exposure. And we are all familiar with the mantra that “death is different.” But terrorism, it turns out, is different too. These cases are complicated by multiple factors that make them especially challenging for defense lawyers – including the complex political, historical and cultural context, the often troubled backgrounds and likely youth of the accused, the long sentences they encompass, and the polarizing public attitudes they generate from, alternately, fear and perceptions of discrimination. The legal support networks for terrorism lawyers are in their infancy, while simultaneously, terrorism cases invariably raise novel legal issues requiring sophisticated and creative thinking. Moreover, prosecutors and judges may feel intense pressure to put the thumb on the scale in favor of incapacitation. An effective defense strategy must therefore incorporate a range of scholarly and professional expertise.
Keywords: Terrorism, Defense Lawyers, Sentencing Mitigation
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