A new terrorism statute has recently been enacted in North Carolina and will took effect on December 1, 2012. This new statute was designed to tighten the laws against certain violent acts and categorize them as acts of terrorism. The statue is G.S. 14 – 10.1. A person will be found guilty of an offense under the new statute if a person:
1. Commits an act of violence
2. with the intent to
a. intimidate the civilian population at large, or an identifiable group of the civilian population, or
b. influence, through intimidation, a government’s conduct or activities.
The punishment for a violation of this statute would be punished as a felony one class higher than the underlying act of violence, except where the underlying act of violence is a Class A or B1 felony in which case the violation of this statute would be a Class B1 felony. A person may be convicted of both the underlying act that constituted the act of violence and a violation of the new statute.
The next question then would be what is considered an act of violence under this new provision? Acts of violence are to encompass:
1. Murder (as defined under G.S. 14-17)
2. Manslaughter (as under G.S. 14-18)
3. A Chapter 14 felony which includes an assault or use of violence of force against a person
4. Any felony that includes either the threat or use of any explosive or incendiary device
5. Any offense that includes the threat or use of a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon of mass destruction
A violation of the new statute permits for a severe punishment of its violation as a person could receive punishment for both the underlying act of violence in addition to a violation of the new statute. Considering what type of acts this statute is designed to protect from it is great that North Carolina is increasing penalties for anyone who would commit such and act in the state.
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