American Terrorism Trials: Prosecutorial and Defense Strategies

American Terrorism Trials: Prosecutorial and Defense Strategies
Christopher A. Shields
September 2012

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-482-7 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / x, 196 pages

Price   $67.00


Since 1980, prosecutors and defense attorneys handling federal terrorism trials have developed politicized strategies and counter strategies unique to terrorism trials, and those strategies have had a significant impact on case outcomes. Moreover, case outcomes were positively impacted by proactive policy changes implemented in the wake of 9/11. Building on structural contextual theory and the hydraulic effect, Shields finds that when prosecutors rely less heavily on highly politicized prosecution strategies, conviction rates increased. In fact, his findings indicate that the more prosecutors politicize a case, the more likely the case goes to trial, increasing the odds of acquittal.

About the Author

Christopher Shields is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas, and a project manager for the Terrorism Research Center in Fulbright College. Before joining academia in 2003, Shields worked as a criminal defense attorney and rule XV prosecutor.