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Wesley S. McCann

Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminology, The College of New Jersey

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About Wesley

McCann's research focuses on criminal justice and national security policy, criminal law and procedure, and criminal courts. Specifically, McCann's research focuses on law and policy, terrorism and bias-motivated crimes (e.g. extremism), and immigration. Overarching themes in McCann's writings include the problem with defining and responding to 'terrorism', how our criminal justice and national security policy is often counter-productive to counter-terrorism efforts, how culture influences attitudes towards immigrants, and how the securitization of immigration and expansion of national security policy has come at enormous cost.


"An Analysis of Certificates of Rehabilitation in the United States" (with Melissa A. Kowalski, Craig Hemmens, and Mary K. Stohr). Corrections (2018).

ExamineS each state’s process related to certificates of rehabilitation (COR). Finds that only 16 states and the District of Columbia have CORs. Finds states with CORs vary considerably in their process for obtaining a certificate, and only one state allows for interstate reciprocity of CORs. Discusses the policy implications of these results.

"The Politics of Political Crime: An Analysis of Circuit Court Decision-Making in Terrorism Appeals" University of La Verne Law Review 39, no. 2 (2018): 142-172.

Examines the outcomes of all terrorism appeals from 1988-2015. Finds that politics play a role in panel decision-making, in that panel ideology, or the political affiliation of judges, influences appeal outcomes, as well as other factors.

"Mixed Mandates: Issues Concerning Organizational and Statutory Definitions of Terrorism in the United States" (with Nicholas Pimley). Terrorism and Political Violence (2018).

Examines, qualitatively, state criminal law and federal organizational definitions of terrorism to discern what lexical elements are commonly seen across such definitions. Finds that organizational definitions are seemingly tied to institution mission or mandate, whereas state definitions vary significantly, lack consensus, and are evidently influenced by major events such as the September 11 attacks.

Courts: A Text/Reader (with Cassia Spohn and Craig Hemmens) (Sage, 2018).

Designed to introduce the criminal court system in America to college undergraduate students.

"Addressing the Balance: Restructuring CIPA and FISA to Meet the Needs of Justice and the Criminal Justice System " Albany Law Review 80, no. 3 (Spring 2017): 1131-1180.

Examines both CIPA and FISA within the context of terrorism and national security-related prosecutions. Examines the extent to which each Act can be reformed to meet the needs of both sides during the criminal process by presenting what other scholars have recommended along with the major revisions posited here.

"Indefinite Detention and the War on Terror: Why the Criminal Justice System is the Answer" Loyola University Chicago International Law Review 12, no. 2 (2015): 110-152.

Examines the development of indefinite detention as it has been used in the 'War on Terror' and argues that the American criminal justice system holds the key to resolving many of these aforementioned issues. Finds a divergence of military and criminal justice models is necessary if we are to preserve constitutional safeguards and exemplify both a strong and unified response to terrorism, while simultaneously exhibiting the standards of an evolving society under the paradigm of Just War.