The First Accused Pirate In Nearly 200 Years Is About To Enter An American Prison
A Somali national who admitted his role in an April 10th attack on the US Navy ship Ashland off the coast of Africa has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, the first person to be sentenced for an attack on a vessel on the high seas since 1820. Charles Fishburne reports.
Jama Ibrahim was convicted of an attack to plunder a vessel, violence against persons on a vessel and use of a firearm during a crime of violence, but not of piracy.
Glazier: As a practical matter, I'm not sure that it really makes that much difference.
David Glazier is a Loyola Law School professor widely quoted on piracy law.
Glazier: The reality is, it's quite possible for the courts to convict these individuals of things like assaulting federal officials and weapons violations.
But he says it may be important for US courts to call a pirate, a pirate.
Glazier: We are trying to encourage countries around the world to take a tougher stance on piracy; if American courts are unwilling to convict Somalis of piracy, those courts will be asked by the defense lawyers to take a look at what the US courts have done.
Five of Ibrahim’s cohorts still await trial while the courts decide what exactly constitutes a pirate.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News