John Adams Project - American Values
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Seeking Justice in the Military Commissions Proceedings: Protecting the Rule of Law
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The ACLU and NACDL have assembled defense teams to be available to assist in the representation of detainees facing prosecution at Guantánamo. We took this step because of our grave concerns that the Guantanamo military commissions process does not reflect our country's commitment to justice and due process. The military commissions' authorization of the use of coerced evidence possibly derived from torture, secret evidence, and hearsay is unconstitutional and counter to American traditions of fairness and justice.
In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court ruled that the original military commission system established by President Bush to try detainees at Guantánamo Bay was unlawful because it had not been authorized by Congress. Unfortunately, in 2006, Congress provided that authorization when it passed the Military Commissions Act (MCA), legitimizing a system of military tribunals that fails to meet minimum due process standards. At the same time, the MCA stripped Guantánamo detainees of their right to habeas corpus, thus limiting their ability to challenge the legality of any conviction or sentence resulting from the military commission proceedings. The legislation also provides retroactive immunity to government officials who authorized torture and abuse, and permits convictions based on coerced evidence obtained through torture.
The ACLU and NACDL have consistently and vehemently condemned the grave flaws of the Military Commissions Act, so far to no avail. Now, we are confronted with an egregious situation, the upcoming prosecution of several detainees under the procedures established by the Military Commissions Act.
- Joshua L. Dratel
- Thomas Anthony Durkin
- Nina Ginsberg
- Nancy Hollander
- Amanda Lee
- Denise LeBoeuf
- Edward B. MacMahon, Jr.
- Scott McKay
- David Nevin
- Jeff Robinson
- Gary D. Sowards
Anthony D. Romero
Retired Rear Admiral John D. Hutson
Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch
Robin S. Theurkauf
September 11th Advocates
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
> NEWS: Guantánamo Attorneys Urge Panetta To Preserve CIA Black Site Evidence (4/12/2009)
> NEWS: U.S. Government Refers Charges Against USS Cole Suspect Al-Nashiri At Guantánamo (12/19/2008)
> NEWS: 9/11 Victims' Families Challenge Legitimacy Of Guantánamo Military Commissions (12/10/2008)
> FEATURE: John Adams and the Boston Massacre
> FEATURE: Samuel Walker - Defending Fundamental Principles
> BIOS: The Lawyers, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
|Legal Director Steve Shapiro on rulings regarding the unlawful detention policy at Guantánamo Bay