July 21, 2014

Illusion of Justice

Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions

Summary
Human Rights Concerns
Adverse Impact on American Muslim Communities, Law Enforcement
Key Recommendations to the US Federal Government
Methodology
I. “Homegrown Terrorism” and the Preventive Approach to Investigations
Post 9/11 Changes to Priorities and Rules Governing Federal Terrorism Investigations
Theories of “Homegrown Terrorism” and “Radicalization”
Widespread Surveillance of American Muslims and Use of Informants
II. Discriminatory and Overly Aggressive Investigations Using Informants
Identifying Targets for Investigation Due to Religious or Political Views
Vulnerable Targets: People with Mental, Intellectual Disabilities, Indigent People
Vulnerable Targets: Individuals Seeking Religious Guidance
Informants Ignoring Targets’ Reluctance to Engage in Terrorism
Informants Playing Key Roles in Generating or Furthering the “Plot”
Informants with Criminal Histories
Human Rights Concerns
III. Broad Charges: Material Support Cases
Changes to the Material Support Statute
Waves of Material Support Prosecutions
Human Rights Concerns
IV. Unfair Trials
Prejudicial Evidence
Evidence from Warrantless Wiretaps under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
Classified Evidence
Anonymous and Biased Juries
Pretrial Solitary Confinement and Other Conditions of Confinement
V. Disproportionate Sentences
The “Terrorism Adjustment”
Lengthy Sentences Based on Unproven Conduct
Lengthy Sentences Based on Non-Violent Conduct
Lengthy Sentences in Informant Cases
VI. Imprisonment and Treatment
Background: Tightening of Restrictions in Response to “Prisoner Radicalization”
Prolonged Solitary Confinement and Restrictions on Family Contact
Obstacles to Challenging Prisoner Classification and Seeking Transfer to Less Restrictive Facilities
VII. Law Enforcement Relations with American Muslim Communities
Community Outreach and Countering Violent Extremism
Necessary Alternatives
VIII. Full Recommendations
To the US President
To the US Attorney General
To the Federal Bureau of Investigation
To the Department of Justice National Security Division and US Attorneys’ Offices
To the Bureau of Prisons
To the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General
To the US Sentencing Commission
To Federal Court Judges
To the US Congress
Acknowledgments
Appendix
A. Cases Reviewed
B. Detention Conditions
C. Length of Time in Pretrial Solitary Confinement
D. Quantitative Analysis of the Department of Justice Terrorism Conviction Dataset
E. Government Correspondence