Project Description

The Prosecution Project (tPP) is a long-term, Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) research platform tracking and providing an analysis of felony criminal cases involving political violence occurring in the United States since 1990.

Through identification, analysis, and assessment of thousands of cases, tPP seeks to identify correlations between who a defendant is, how they are charged and prosecuted, and other related factors, such as political ideology, religion, and the crime’s motive, means, target, and impact. The project explores defendant demographics, prosecutorial strategy and outcome, juridical rhetoric, and relevant laws dealing with hate crimes, civil rights violations, designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and material support, as well as assigned terrorism enhancements and the use of specialized motive-centric statutes.

Over time, the dataset aims to be inclusive of all cases involving felony crimes with social-political motivation, as stated by the perpetrator, or labeled by official state bodies such as law enforcement or government officials.

Every case included in the tPP dataset is validated through a decision tree, coded for 50+ variables, associated with a set of primary source documents, and triangulated via secondary sources by an independent coding team. After the first round of dual coding, the case is checked by a senior member of the project team, and finally, validated by one of the tPP Auditors. The data generated is suitable for a patterned statistical analysis and the development of complex models to understand patterns, trends, and outliers. To learn more about tPP’s process, the information included in the dataset, and how many cases are in the tPP universe, please visit our “tPP Includes…” page.

tPP aims to record a comprehensive account of modern political violence prosecutions through confirmed, verified, triangulated, and transparently-documented cases. The goal of tPP is to generate meaningful findings for scholars and policy makers, to create and publish a previously nonexistent database for public use, and to allow students to engage in research and acquire skills that are required for carrying out a long-term team project. The project is led by an Executive Director and Deputy Directors, coordinated by a student-run Leadership Team and its Directors, and informed by a National Advisory Board of noted scholars and researchers.

tPP Publishes Data for Public Use

Since its inception in 2017, the Prosecution Project (tPP) has aimed to make all of its data available online, for free in an accessible format. tPP is excited to announce that our data is officially published to browse and download on our website here. The public can now access tPP’s unique set of data to supplement their own research and generate new findings.

Users are welcome to search tPP’s extensive database compiling criminal cases of political violence since 1990, including those from the Summer 2020 George Floyd Protests and the January 6th Capitol Siege. tPP’s published data consists of over 3,500 cases coded to completion for over 50 variables including date, location, ideological affiliation, criminal method, sentencing details, gender, race, religion, veteran status, citizenship, and more. Those navigating the data may use the features on our website to narrow their research to any one or number of these variables.

The cases in tPP’s public database have been researched by two coders, verified by a third coder, and are in the process of undergoing a final audit. Each case is cross-referenced with a series of court documents, newspaper accounts, and other sources. Whenever possible, tPP aims to add and code cases based on primary sources such as court documents and governmental reports and releases. When primary sources are unavailable, tPP uses triangulated secondary sources. Typically these secondary sources are news or academic articles.

This information is free to use but please credit the Prosecution Project | tPP Twitter.

If you have further questions about the data, or would like more information on the cases, their inclusion criteria, etc., get in touch.

Although our data is now public, tPP is still accepting Data Requests. Individuals interested in receiving tPP data, either in raw or analytical form, should fill out the form located here.

tPP Book Now Available for Order!

Prosecuting Political Violence
Collaborative Research and Method

Available for Order on Routledge and Amazon

Book Description

This volume uses a mixed methods approach to unpack the multidimensional realities of political violence and how these crimes are dealt with in the U.S. judicial system.

The work seeks to challenge the often-noted problems with mainstream terrorism research, namely an overreliance on secondary sources, a scarcity of statistical analyses, and a tendency for authors to not work collaboratively. This volume inverts these challenges, situating itself within primary-source materials, which are empirically studied through collaborative, inter-generational (statistical) analysis. Through a focused exploration of how these crimes are influenced by gender, ethnicity, ideology, tactical choice, geography, and citizenship, the chapters offered here represent scholarship from a pool of more than sixty authors. Utilizing a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including regression and other forms of statistical analysis, Grounded Theory, Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, and Discourse Analysis, the researchers in this book explore not only the subject of political violence and the law, but also the craft of research. In bringing together these emerging voices, this volume seeks to challenge expertism, while privileging the empirical.

This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism and political violence, criminology, and U.S. politics.

Data Requests

tPP is now accepting Data Requests!

Individuals interested in receiving tPP data, either in raw or analytical form, should fill out the form located here.

If our Data Science team has any questions, you will receive a reply via email.

tPP in the News

24 August 2023 “A ‘lethal threat’: why the far right sees more scrutiny than the left” [Military Times] (Additional distribution by Yahoo News)

24 June 2023 “Alito said Dobbs would lower the temperature. Instead, it fanned the flames of abortion extremism” [Politico]

1 November 2022 “A first-of-its-kind database tracks threats against public officials” [Axios]

19 October 2022 “ADL and Princeton’s Bridging Divides Initiative Release New Report Tracking Threats and Harassment Against Local Officials” [Princeton University]

15 June 2022 “Jan. 6 Hearings Point Finger at Donald Trump. But Federal Prosecutors Haven’t Gone That Far” [The Intercept]

4 April 2022 “Rage from the right: Threats against lawmakers rise for the GOP, too” [The Christian Science Monitor]

20 January 2022 “The multilayered effort to steal the election on Jan. 6, 2021” [The Washington Post]

20 January 2022 “What’s Next for 40 Proud Boys Facing Jan. 6 Charges” [Vice News]

5 January 2022 “A Year After the Breach, Falsehoods About Jan. 6 Persist” [The New York Times]

3 January 2022 “Capitol Rioter Admits False Statements to FBI, But Prosecutors Haven’t Charged Him With a Felony” [The Intercept]

30 December 2021 “Anatomy of a death threat” [contributing data provider,  Reuters]

13 December 2021 “Pennsylvania Man Who Planted Explosives After BLM Protest Sentenced to Probation, Thanks to Judge Who Was Convinced ‘He Had a Breakdown’”[Yahoo News]

17 September 2021 “The role of physical threats in Trump’s domination of the GOP”[The Washington Post]

18 August 2021 “Biden is Expanding Trump’s War on ‘Domestic Violent Extremism’ — And It’s Sweeping Up Black People”[The Intercept]

14 May 2021 “Activists Push for Charges to be Dropped Against Demonstrators for Black Lives” [Truthout]

Latest Blogs

Student EntrIes

USA v. Hammoud et al: A Lesson on Auditing Group Cases

POSTED ON June 28, 2021

By Sara Godfrey

Mohamad Youssef Hammoud was sentenced to 1,860 months in prison, constituting the first conviction under a 1996 federal law prohibiting aid to designated terrorist groups. Facing 155 years in prison on charges including, Trafficking Contraband Cigarettes (18:2342.f) […]

Student EntrIes

Tactic and Target Selection in White Supremacist versus Eco-Terrorist Organizations

POSTED ON June 7, 2021

By Izzy Bielamowicz

Without proper distinction between separate ideological affiliations, terrorism becomes an oversimplified subset of political violence. This lack of differentiation within the subject of terrorism runs the risk of creating a false synonymy between different groups. […]

Student EntrIes

What is Terrorism? The Defining Elements of an Evolving Concept

POSTED ON May 19, 2021

By Morgan Demboski

Government officials, law enforcement, and scholars have long struggled to come up with an internationally accepted definition of terrorism. Terrorism is a very ambiguous term; what is terrorism and who is a terrorist depends entirely on the subjective view of the definer.  […]

ON Findings

A Tweet as a Deadly Weapon: The State of Texas v. John Wayne Rivello

POSTED ON April 26, 2021

By Nitya Sunil

Last Spring semester, while working on coding cases, I came across a case with characteristics that would determine prosecution for many future cases. The State of Texas v. John Rayne Rivello determines whether a tweet, or any message-sending medium utilized on the Internet, can be considered as a deadly weapon if it inflicts harm on the recipient. […]

ON Findings

Locating Extremists Where They Strike: The Influence of Ideology and Geography on Terrorist Target Selection

POSTED ON April 19, 2021

By Isabel Bielamowicz and Kayla Groneck

This is a brief summary of a 14-week research project we designed and carried out, the purpose of which was to identify the relationships between geographic location, ideological affiliation, and physical target for cases of politically motivated violence coded in the tPP dataset.  […]