NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A jury in a New York case found a gang member guilty under state terrorism laws as part of charges stemming from a 2002 shooting incident.
In the State Supreme Court in the Bronx Wednesday a jury found Edgar Morales, 25, guilty under state terrorism laws derived from legislation enacted after Sept. 11 imposing harsher sentences on terrorism related incidents, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Morales, a member of the Mexican St. James Boys gang, was convicted in the shooting death of an 11-year-old girl and the wounding of a rival gang member. Because the charges filed two years ago were filed under the terrorism law, it raises his sentence possibilities from a 15-year term to 25 years to life.
Robert T. Johnson, the Bronx district attorney, said the terrorism law was applicable because terrorism is defined as an act meant to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”
Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union said the terrorism law was misapplied.
“The law was pitched as New York’s way to protect itself against al Qaida and the like. No matter what horrific crimes were committed against the Mexican-American community, that’s not terrorism.”