Monday, 14th May 2012
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
Source: Congressional Research Service, via Federation of American Scientists
From the summary:
The initiation of military commission proceedings against Khalid Sheik Mohammad and four others for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has focused renewed attention on the differences between trials in federal court and those conducted by military commission. The decision to try the defendants in military court required a reversal in policy by the Obama Administration, which had publicly announced in November 2009 its plans to transfer the five detainees from the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the United States to stand trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for criminal offenses related to the 9/11 attacks. The Administration's plans to try these and possibly other Guantanamo detainees in federal court proved controversial, and Congress responded by enacting funding restrictions which effectively barred any non-citizen held at Guantanamo from being transferred into the United States, including for prosecution. These restrictions, which have been extended for the duration of FY2012, effectively make military commissions the only viable option for trying detainees held at Guantanamo for the foreseeable future...
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
+ Link to full report (PDF; 369 KB)
By Peggy Garvin
Peggy Garvin, of Garvin Information Consulting, is the author of United States Government Internet Directory (Bernan Press) and Real World Research Skills, 2009 (TheCapitol.Net). In her 20 years in the information business, Peggy has managed electronic information products and services in a variety of environments, including commercial publishing, e-commerce, law firms, and the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. Peggy's work has been recognized with the 2011 SLA Dow Jones Leadership Award. She has a Masters of Library Science degree from Syracuse University School of Information Studies.
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