Gangbanger as 'Terrorist'

A 9/11 anti-terror law turns out to be handy against small-time hoods

In fact, the slapped-together state law, with its vague definitions and lack of practical application against traditional terrorists, may ultimately prove to be the way to hammer violent youth gangs. In Morales's case, Lombardi says, the D.A. is using it like a cudgel: Plead guilty or face life without parole.

"I used to be a prosecutor and I'd do the same thing," says Lombardi. "If you give them that law, of course they're going to use it."

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