Showing posts from June, 2010

More on the Faisal Shahzad Plea Hearing and the War on Terrorism

The New York Times has an interesting article discussing the Faisal Shahzad plea hearing and his statements to the court about his conduct and his decision to plead guilty. According to the New York Times, Shahzad stated that he was "a Muslim soldier" and he was "avenging" the war in Afghanistan and American interventions in Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. The article asks two important questions based on Shahzad's behavior: (1) Has the war on terrorism become the fuel for terrorist recruitment, and (2) where does the was in Afghanistan fit into the overall campaign against terror. It's an interesting read. Click here to read the entire story.

Times Square Bomber Pleads Guilty

The New York Times is reporting that the failed Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, has pleaded guilty to ten criminal charges related to his attempted terrorist attack earlier this year. During the hearing, Shahzad admitted to receiving terrorist training from the Taliban. In making his admission of guilt, he stated that he was "part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people." "I want to plead guilty," he continued, "and I'm going to plead guilty 100 time over because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that." Shahzad faces up to life in prison for his acts. Sentencing is scheduled for October 5, 2010.

Plea Bargaining at the ICTY and ICC

I recently returned from a trip to The Hague, where I met with officials from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ( ICTY ) and the International Criminal Court ( ICC ). As you might expect, plea bargaining was one of the significant topics of my discussions. In fact, I even had the opportunity to present some of my research research regarding plea bargaining to members of the ICTY. Based on my discussions, it appears that the ICTY has fully embraced the concept of plea bargaining, even though the concept is prohibited by many of the jurisdictions from which its judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel originate. Why is this the case? For much the same reason it has dominated the American criminal justice system for decades - it saves resources and allows prosecutors the flexibility to reward those who would cooperate against higher level defendants. In comparison, those at the ICC seemed less convinced that plea bargaining would be an often utilized tool in th