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DOJ prosecuting fewer terror cases: report

[JURIST] The number of terrorism-related prosecutions has sharply declined in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] and less than half of those convicted on terror charges received prison sentences, according to a study [text] released Sunday by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse [official website]. The study, based on US Justice Department [official website] data, found that only 14 of the 1,329 convicted defendants received prison sentences of more than 20 years.

Critics of the Bush administration are using the study as a measurement of its success or lack thereof in the war on terror. Some say there has been a decline in terrorism prosecutions because agencies are less likely than they were directly following September 11 to prosecute secondary infractions. Others have suggested that unlawful interrogation tactics overseas have compromised prosecutions in the US. This is not the first time the administration has had to defend its progress [JURIST report] in convicting terrorists. The study revealed 14 prosecutions in 2000, 57 in 2001, 355 in 2002, 46 in 2005 and 19 in the first eight months of fiscal year 2006. AP has more.

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