"First, misapplication unnecessarily jeopardizes counter-terrorism efforts by lending credence to the argument that terrorism statutes are illegitimate, ineffective or both," Nicholas Goldin and David Edwards of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett wrote for the center. "Second, misapplication disrupts the careful policy balance that New York has struck in order to reduce gang activity, which includes a deliberate mix of traditional criminal sanctions and gang prevention programs."
Morales, 30, was convicted by a jury and received an aggregate term of 40 years to life for manslaughter, attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy from Bronx Supreme Court Justice Michael Gross. All but the conspiracy charge were tried as crimes of terrorism.
The defendant's attorneys estimated that without the enhanced penalties through the terrorism-related charges, Morales would likely have received a 20-to-40-year sentence.
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