- To develop and disseminate relevant findings concerning crime, criminal justice, and public policy through research, public scholarship, and student engagement.
- To leverage the potential insights of empirical research to better inform law enforcement practices, judicial policy and criminal justice systems (i.e. policing, courts, corrections).
- To examine how political violence is prosecuted in the United States by exploring the relationship between how a crime occurred, who was the perpetrator, and why.
- To determine the predictive effect such variables have for how a defendant is charged, prosecuted, and eventually sentenced in a court of law.
- To create and publish a previously nonexistent database for public use and study. This dataset serves as a meta-analysis, and is ideologically inclusive (i.e. Salafi-jihadist, nationalist-separatist, right-wing, left-wing, issue-focused) of acts of political violence, extremism, bias-motivated crime and terrorism.
- To collaboratively engage undergraduate students and faculty in the craft of research, and the complexity of carrying out a longterm team project.
- To help prepare students to engage professionally and personally in the fields of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law, Public Policy and related disciplines by providing hands-on experience and opportunities for multi-year practical engagement. This includes providing students relevant instruction, training, and oversight for entering the workforce, taking part in internships, and preparing to obtain advanced degrees.
The Prosecution Project (tPP) is a long-term Open Source Intelligence research platform tracking and providing an analysis of felony criminal cases involving illegal political violence occurring in the United States since 1990.
Through quantitative and qualitative identification, analysis, and assessment of thousands of cases tPP seeks to identify correlations between who a defendant is, how they are charged and prosecuted, and other related factors, which can include political ideology or religion, the crime’s motive, means, target, or impact.
tPP explores defendant demographics, prosecutorial strategy and outcome, juridical rhetoric, and relevant laws dealing with hate crimes, civil rights violations, Foreign Terrorist Organizations and material support, as well as defendants who are assigned terrorism enhancements and the use of specialized motive-centric statutes. The data set aims to be inclusive of all cases involving felony crimes with social-political motivation, as stated by the perpetrator, or labeled by official state bodies such as, but not limited to, law enforcement or federal government.
tPP’s data set is comprised of all relevant cases as validated through a decision tree. Each case is independently coded for nearly 60 variables and associated with a set of primary sources by independent coders, and/or triangulated via several secondary sources. After first round dual coding, the case is triangulated by a member of the project Steering Team, and finally, validated by a senior coder serving as Auditor. The data generated is suitable for a patterned statistical analysis and the development of complex models to understand patterns, trends, and outliers.
tPP records a comprehensive account of modern political violence prosecutions through confirmed, verified, triangulated, and transparently documented cases. The goal of tPP is to generate meaningful findings for scholars and policy makers, and to engage students in research and skills required for carrying out a long-term team project.
Unique Contributions of TPP
- The tPP data set aims to include all cases which involve felonies in furtherance of political violence, or crimes which have been described in official State speech as terrorism, extremism, or motivated by a social or political agenda.
- Across thousands of cases, we can explore correlations between the manner in which a defendant is charged, prosecuted, and sentenced, and any number of variables specific to the defendant’s demographics, the nature of the crime, and ideological and legal factors.
- Advanced coding allows for analysis of prosecutorial strategies such as those involving Foreign Terrorist Organization designation, hate crime laws, civil rights violations, terrorism enhancements, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, the Federal Access to Clinic Entrance Act, and incarceration in Communications Management Units.
[Text taken from plea agreement for ‘eco-terrorism’ case, US v. McGowan]