SOC241 Paper 1 - Morelli 1 Krista Morelli 22992875...

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Morelli 1 Krista Morelli- 22992875 Sociology 241: Criminology Ronald Chilton 26 February 2008 Crime: To be or not to be? John Walker Lindh, Josh Dratel, and Cecelia Fire Thunder. Presented to you, these three Americans could not be more different from one another. One infamously known as the “American Taliban”, one a terrorism defense attorney, and one the president of the Oglala Sioux tribe of South Dakota. One’s identity as a criminal or a victim is undefined, one’s profession earned him an insider’s perspective on the “War on Terror”, and the other is a leader, fighting all odds to affect change. However, despite the most blatant of differences, these three people share the American society and government’s constant battle with the definition of crime. Notorious for his role in the “American Taliban”, John Walker Lindh, currently serving time, suffered months of torture and confinement for the way he chose to express his religious beliefs. Josh Dratel not only represented terrorists against the United States, but also became one of the few people to fight alongside the ACLU in suing the United States government over the Patriot Act. Cecilia Fire Thunder is known for her consistent efforts to recriminalize abortion and her work towards a women’s right to choose. Each of these Americans are involved in three of the most controversial so-called criminal issues of our current society. But the question remains- can their activities be called criminal? John Walker Lindh is notoriously known throughout the United States as the “American Taliban”- a man who, after converting to Islam, chose to travel to the Middle East and act on the best interests of himself and his devotion to his newfound religion. However, after being taken into military custody by the United States and forced to endure months of
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Morelli 2 detention and questioning, his involvement in Middle Eastern affairs became defined as terrorism instead of an Islamic man’s religious search for a “greater jihad”. The actions of the
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This note was uploaded on 09/09/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 241 taught by Professor Chilton during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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SOC241 Paper 1 - Morelli 1 Krista Morelli 22992875...

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