DALLAS — Feb. 3, 2014 — Representatives from the Muslim Legal Fund of America, a charitable civil liberties legal fund, are applauding the dismissal of all terrorism-related charges against Army veteran Craig Baxam in U.S. v. Craig B. Baxam (District of Maryland 8:12-cr-121).
Baxam, age 26, pled guilty to destroying his computer and was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years of supervised release thereafter. Baxam’s attorney, Linda Moreno, made the following statement regarding his plea deal:
While the truest justice in Craig’s case would have been a complete exoneration of any charges, I regard the government’s dismissal of the terrorism indictment as a victory. This almost never happens in indicted terrorism cases in the United States. Instead, he was charged and pled to an obstruction of justice charge, a charge free of the draconian consequences attendant to material support of terrorism charges. The defense view throughout was that Craig was merely trying to practice Islam in an environment he viewed free from repression, a First Amendment right to practice his religion. This was not a terrorism case, a charge the government ultimately dismissed.
Khalil Meek, Executive Director of MLFA, said that the government’s threat of manufactured terrorism trials against American Muslims is causing stress in law-abiding communities and threatening the civil liberties of all Americans.
“Currently it’s Muslims who are being unfairly targeted with controversial anti-terrorism laws,” said Meek. “Soon, no one will be safe, and that’s not good for our justice system or our democracy.”
Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a national civil liberties legal fund that defends the U.S. Bill of Rights by supporting legal cases involving civil liberty encroachments. Established in 2001, MLFA has defended freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, due process of law and many of our nation’s civil liberties.