CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Can We Call Environmental Activists Terrorists?

From In Oregon, a federal judge has begun sentencing a group of environmental activists who pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and arson from 1996 to 2001. Are they terrorists, as prosecutors assert? Listen. . . [Mark Godsey]

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You (or NPR) seem to be saying that a 13 year sentence for destroying property is an overreaction. Give me a break! Destroying property worth thousands of dollars just because you don't approve of the owner's choosing a large SUV -- that's the overreaction.

This crime fits the classic definition of terrorism: it is clearly intended
to scare both the direct victim and third parties into doing the criminal's bidding, in this case by not buying SUVs.

We already have the "hate crime" laws to punish older kinds of terrorist crimes, such as the Ku Klux Klan's attempts to scare black people into moving away from "their" cities. But unfortunately we don't yet have "hate crime" laws aimed at eco-terrorists, so sentences such as this one will have to stand in their place.

I say, "attaboy" to the judge, and I wish we had some like him where I live!

Posted by: John David Galt | May 31, 2007 11:14:37 AM

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