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When Dates and time periods associated with this report. Creation Date November 19, Usage Statistics When was this report last used? Serious questions remain about whether the most used charge in military commissions, material support for terrorism, will be available to prosecutors because it is not a war crime. Military prosecutors accused Hamdan of transporting weapons to battlefields in Afghanistan and being a close associate of the Al Qaeda leader.
The evidence of the eight-year experiment with military commissions demonstrates that it is an unacceptable risk to trust the prosecution of high-level terrorists in such an untested and uncertain system. Two of the three individuals convicted in military commissions are already out of prison living freely in their home countries of Australia and Yemen. Australian David Hicks was the first person convicted in a military commission when he entered into a plea agreement on material support for terrorism charges in March He was given a nine-month sentence, which he mostly served back at home in Australia.
Hamdan—convicted by a military jury of material support for terrorism—received a five-month sentence and was sent back to his home in Yemen to serve the final months before being released in January The only person convicted in a military commission that remains in jail is Ali al-Bahlul.
Bahlul, however, only received his life sentence after he boycotted the entire trial process and was convicted without mounting a defense. The most surprising feature of the military commissions is their leniency. The lesson to defendants seems to be to participate in your defense and you will be set free. The extensive record of criminal courts in successfully prosecuting terrorists stands in stark contrast with the shockingly poor military commissions system. Since —the same period in which military commissions have convicted just three terrorists—criminal courts have convicted more than individuals on terrorism charges, or 65 times more than military commissions.
Criminal courts racked up these convictions with none of the uncertainty that still plagues the military commissions system. Reid was also sent on his suicide mission by an Al Qaeda affiliate using explosives concealed in his clothing, only the explosives were in his shoes and not his underwear.
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Reid even used pentaerythritol, the same explosive material as Abdulmutallab. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Supermax penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. The allegations against David Hicks in a military trial were quite similar to those leveled against John Walker Lindh—the so-called American Taliban—in a criminal court, while comparable charges to the material support for terrorism conviction for Salim Hadman can also be found in criminal courts.
Hicks pleaded guilty to the charge of material support for terrorism with the underlying allegations that he trained at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and that he was an armed participant in numerous engagements with American and Northern Alliance forces. Lindh pleaded guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons.
R40932 Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
Hicks received a nine-month sentence while Lindh got 20 years. Even if all of the time Hicks served prior to his plea bargain is counted, his total time in custody was only six years, less than one-third of the sentence Lindh received. In , Ali Asad Chandia was convicted in a criminal court of material support for terrorism for driving a member of Pakistani extremist group Lashkar-e-Taibi from Washington National Airport and helping him ship packages containing paintball equipment back to Pakistan. Hamdan received a five-month sentence while Chandia got 15 years.
Even if all of the time Hamdan served prior to his conviction in a military commission is counted, his total time in custody would be only eight years. Conservatives believe that military commissions have value as a means of removing supposed barriers to obtaining intelligence information from suspected terrorists.
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Former U. The point is less where Abdulmutallab will eventually be prosecuted than what use could have been made of him as an intelligence source. These conservatives clearly believe that the criminal system impedes intelligence collection because defendants get lawyers in the criminal system who always tell their clients to stop talking to the government. Whether or not lawyers are a barrier to intelligence collection, King and Giuliani fundamentally misunderstand the military commissions system.
On January 22, , new US President Barack Obama , who had said during his campaign that he would reject the Military Commissions Act if elected,  issued an executive order instructing the Secretary of Defense to immediately take steps sufficient to ensure that no new charges are sworn, or referred to a military commission under the Military Commissions Act of and the Rules for Military Commissions, and that all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered, and all proceedings pending in the United States Court of Military Commission Review, are halted.
On January 29, the order was overturned. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is one of three Guantanamo Bay inmates known to have been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques. On March 7, , President Obama authorized further trials under military commissions for Guantanamo detainees. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.
November Main article: Boycott of Guantanamo Military Commissions. American Bar Association. January 4, Retrieved December 16, Supreme Court of the United States.
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