January 01, 2017

Sua Sponte: A Judge Comments

A judge describes what it’s like to be in the middle of a case with prejudicial labels such as “terrorist.”

Hon. James G. Carr

In “The Unique Challenges of Defending a Terrorism Prosecution,” Joshua Dratel has provided a bird’s-eye and a worm’s-eye view of what lawyers can expect when representing a defendant charged in a “terrorism” case. I use quotation marks deliberately. Relatively few of the case abstracts in the Federal Judicial Center’s most recent compendium of all cases brought under the material support and related statutes portray a mature conspiracy or involve the commission of dangerous acts. R.T. Regan, Fed. Judicial Ctr., National Security Case Studies—Special Case Management Challenges (2015). Instead, those that have even reached toddler stage have been, as in the two “terrorism” cases I have had on my docket, nurtured early on by government investigators.

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