New York State Convicted a White Supremacist as a Terrorist for the First Time

The attacker is expected to receive a sentence of life in prison.

white terrorism
James Harris Jackson is expected to be locked away for life. (James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
NY Daily News via Getty Images

In a potentially groundbreaking move, the state of New York just called out white supremacy for what it really is — terrorism.

On Wednesday, the Timothy Caughman murder case came to a conclusion when his assailant, James Harris Jackson, pleaded guilty to Murder in the First Degree in Furtherance of an Act of Terrorism, Murder in the Second Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, according to Law & Crime.

Jackson is expected to receive life in prison at his sentencing hearing scheduled for next month.

By declaring Jackson’s race-motivated violence an act of terrorism, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. sent the message that “crimes carried out in the name of white supremacy will be treated not only as attacks on their direct victims, but also as attacks on New York’s entire civilian population,” Law & Crime wrote.

In 2017, then-28-year old Jackson, a caucasian man, traveled to New York and prowled the streets for several days in search of black victims to “start a race war” until he came upon Caughman, 66, who was black, and fatally stabbed him with a sword.

When Jackson was arrested, he told detectives that he went to New York from his home in Baltimore on a mission to kill black men as a, “declaration of global total war on the Negro race,” and to prevent white women from participating in interracial relationships.

“White nationalism will not be normalized in New York,” Vance wrote in a statement. “If you come here to kill New Yorkers in the name of white nationalism, you will be investigated, prosecuted and incapacitated like the terrorist that you are. You will spend your life in prison without possibility of parole because there is no place in our city or our society for terrorists — ‘domestic’ or otherwise.”

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