Terrorism and Treason

Topics: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supreme Court of the United States, Smuggling Pages: 8 (2754 words) Published: May 12, 2010
Journal #6
Criminal Law
May 8 2010

Chapter Eleven & Twelve Summary:
Chapter Eleven:
Terrorism, Treason, and Sedition
The goals of those that commit crimes of terrorism are disruption of government based on ideological, political or religious views. They are sometimes under the direction of another government or act as a group. Treason is the only crime that is written within the Constitution. The acts required for treason are: (1)declaring war against the US (2) Joining the enemy (3) giving the enemy Aid and Comfort. It requires the testimony of two witnesses or a confession to prove treason. There is a short list of people who have been found guilty of treason because of the two witness requirement. Sedition is the “act of inciting violence or insurrection against a government.” The crime of sedition was born in the late 1700’s under the Alien and Sedition Act. During this time, the law prohibited publication of false, scandalous, and harmful stories about the government. These laws were not popular amongst the people and upon expiration they were abolished. Sedition exists today under the Logan act, and prohibition of conspiracies. Terrorism Laws

The federal government and each of the states have laws against terrorism. Although these crimes are focused at disrupting the government , they are normally committed against people and property. The Federal government separates international and domestic terrorism as defined under 18 U.S.C. 2331. The three main elements under this code of defined terrorism are: •Commission of a crime

Intention to coerce a population or government
Accomplished by intimidation or fear
Throughout the years and as a result of terrorist acts, new laws have been enacted. One such law is the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. This was introduced in response to the 1996 bombing of the FBI building in Oklahoma City. It provided to limit federal habeas corpus by limiting file time to one year, and limited the amount of petitions filed per case. It also required CCTV for victims upon venue changes. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, The USA Patriot Act was initiated. Some of the area addressed were: •The Attorney General was given more power over the extradition of suspected foreign terrorist •The expansion of powers to federal agents to obtain private documents from third parties when investigating suspected terrorist. •Federal agents allowed to monitor email, voicemail, and other communication. •Pen registers and Trap Orders expanded nationally

Officers may acquire the internet history of suspected terrorist without probable cause •Allowing roving wire taps
New terrorist laws were created
Law enforcement agencies were allowed to share information with intelligence agencies •Some civil claims allowed against the US for invasion of privacy •Increased authority to confiscate property used in terrorism Constitutional Issues

During the Bush administration, many changes occurred in the fight against terrorism. Guantanamo Bay detention Facility was constructed and housed approximately 20 suspected terrorist in 2008. Military tribunal hearings began. The legality of both these action created concerns amongst the US Supreme Court. Because this fight against terror is a new war front, the criminal procedures at the time were lacking and did not address many of the issues. One cannot compare the tradional criminal against one terrorist act because a terrorist act could inflict thousands of casualties, cause millions of dollars in property damage, and initiate a war. Several cases stemming from the war on terror include Handi v. Rumsfield which addressed the detention of US Citizens and Rausel v. Bush which addressed non citizen detainees. To counteract the pressure by citizens and courts alike, the government enacted the Detainee Treatment Act which prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners....
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