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Domestic terrorism and hate crimes: legal definitions and media framing of mass shootings in the United States

Taylor, Helen

Description

Identifying a criminal act as terrorism is a complicated task, influenced by strict legal definitions and public perceptions. While law enforcement must adhere to the criminal code in prosecuting violent extremist crime as terrorism, politicians, commentators and the media can symbolically label these acts as constituting a range of offences, regardless of whether they fit within legal definitions. Such disparity was evident in the aftermath of the 2015 Charleston church mass shooting when a...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorTaylor, Helen
dc.date.accessioned2020-07-16T04:06:06Z
dc.identifier.citationHelen Taylor (2019) Domestic terrorism and hate crimes: legal definitions and media framing of mass shootings in the United States, Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 14:3, 227-244, DOI: 10.1080/18335330.2019.1667012
dc.identifier.issn1833-5330
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/206268
dc.description.abstractIdentifying a criminal act as terrorism is a complicated task, influenced by strict legal definitions and public perceptions. While law enforcement must adhere to the criminal code in prosecuting violent extremist crime as terrorism, politicians, commentators and the media can symbolically label these acts as constituting a range of offences, regardless of whether they fit within legal definitions. Such disparity was evident in the aftermath of the 2015 Charleston church mass shooting when a white supremacist gunned down nine African Americans with the intention of sparking a race war. FBI Director James Comey was hesitant to apply the terrorism label claiming that it was not a political act and therefore did not classify as terrorism, while U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had no reservations in labelling the crime an 'act of terrorism' (Norris, 2017, pp. 265-266). This paper explores two significant factors that contribute to the conceptual ambiguity surrounding far-right violent extremism as terrorism: the legal double standards in the treatment of 'domestic' terrorists under U.S. federal law, and the reinforcement of these double standards within the mass media.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
dc.rights© 2019 Department of Security Studies and Criminology
dc.sourceJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
dc.subjectDomestic terrorism
dc.subjecthate crimes
dc.subjectright-wing extremism
dc.subjectmass shootings
dc.titleDomestic terrorism and hate crimes: legal definitions and media framing of mass shootings in the United States
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume14
dcterms.dateAccepted2019-09-09
dc.date.issued2019-09-17
local.identifier.absfor160299 - Criminology not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.ariespublicationu3102795xPUB5386
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.tandfonline.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationTaylor, Helen, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage227
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage244
local.identifier.doi10.1080/18335330.2019.1667012
dc.date.updated2020-04-05T08:17:44Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85073503318
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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