For Immediate Release: October 5, 2010
New York, NY – U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Caderbaum today sentenced Faisal Shahzad to life in prison for his May 2010 botched Times Square car bombing attempt. Human Rights First notes that the sentence, mandatory under federal law, reflects the strength of America’s federal courts in handling tough terrorism cases.
“Shahzad’s case took less than six months to come to conclusion and he will serve the rest of his life in prison. There are more than 400 other terrorists who have also been convicted in our federal court system. Shahzad’s stiff penalty and the successful handling of these federal terrorism cases stand in stark contrast to military commission proceedings, which have only secured four convictions since 9/11, including of two individuals who are already free,” said Human Rights First’s C. Dixon Osburn. “The military commissions have given the American people nothing but backlogged cases and endless legal challenges. It’s time to abandon them and stick with federal courts, a venue we know works.”
When Shazad was arrested in May, he was read Miranda rights. He proceeded to cooperate with authorities and provided valuable information to the FBI about his plot and others like it. His sentence comes just one day before the federal terrorism trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian who’s been in U.S. custody since 2004, will begin in New York City. Ghailani is accused of assisting the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 people and wounded hundreds more.
For more information about federal terrorism prosecutions, visit http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/prosecute/index.asp.
To watch retired military leaders address the need to try terrorist in federal court visit http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/military/video.aspx.