Monday, September 11, 2006

Keystone Kops and their Inquisitors

Terrorism prosecution by the numbers. Snip:
For the total set of completions, federal prosecutors decided that nearly two out of three (64%) of them were not worth prosecuting. In addition, for 9% more of the completions, a prosecution was filed but the cases were subsequently dismissed or the individuals found not guilty. Looked at from another perspective, slightly more than one out of four of the total (27%) were convicted. Considered together, this means that five years after 9/11, looking at the 6,472 individuals in the overall count who were initially referred under the terrorist or anti-terrorist programs, only about one in five have been convicted.

...Despite the low success rate in obtaining convictions, the large absolute number of referrals coming from the agencies (nearly 6,500 of them) has resulted in a sizable number of convictions (1,329). For this group it is instructive to consider the penalties that were imposed:
  • Only 14 (one percent) received a substantial sentence -- 20 years or more.
  • Only 67 (5 percent) received sentences of five or more years.
  • Of the 1,329 who were sentenced, 704 received no prison time and an additional 327 received sentences ranging from one day to less than a year.
Thus, the median or typical prison sentence for them all was zero because the majority received no time at all in prison.

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