May 5, 2012

Executive Director Anthony Romero Criticizes Military Commissions for Providing Second-Tier Justice in 9/11 Cases

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GUANTÁNAMO BAY, CUBA – The chaos surrounding the arraignment today of five accused conspirators in the 9/11 attacks highlights the many shortcomings of the military commission system, said American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero.

Romero, who is attending the arraignments at Guantánamo Bay said:

"It is déjà vu all over again at the substandard Guantánamo commissions, where the failures and challenges of the original 9/11 cases now plague their latest incarnation. Once again, the consequences of the defendants' torture and the conditions of their secret confinement loom over the proceedings even when the court does not permit them to be discussed.

"Predictably, the government's interference with the attorney-client relationship and its failure to provide adequate resources to the defense team undermine the system. The American public deserves to see the most important terrorism trials of our time prosecuted in legitimate federal courts capable of providing open, adequately resourced, and fair trials, instead of a commission system deliberately created to provide second-tier justice.”

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