And Justice for all
And Justice For…
This article dealt with President Bushs installment of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists. These tribunals operate in very questionable ways and some of their rules are shocking civil libertarians. These tribunals are allowed to meet in secret, the proceedings may take place in the U.S. and/or abroad, and hearsay can be used as evidence. Defendants do not have the absolute right to challenge evidence against them to challenge evidence against him or even hear it. Lawyers of the defendants choice may not be used, and guilt does not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, the verdict need not be unanimous and executions are allowed.
The question that lies in this issue is whether or not the government is over stepping the boundaries of the courts and the constitution. This method goes against several key constitutional rights and many believe that it would undermine public confidence in the legal system.
On the one side, terror trials in the U.S. are generally a dangerous place to be for judges and juries. In criminal court, the prosecutors would have to choose between exposing highly sensitive sources and tactics used to obtain the evidence, or dropping the case. Also, there is the argument that FOREIGN terrorists who commit acts of terror against the U.S. should not be given the protection of the constitution. But on the other side, what about innocent people who are sentenced to death because of the lack of due process? In addition other countries may not look upon this method of trying terrorists kindly, creating even more dents in our already shaky foreign policy.
The issue itself is still hanging in the balance, but it has in fact been signed in to law by President Bush. These military tribunals will most likely not put an end to terrorism, but they may weed-out several key figures in the terrorist world. The bill has been criticized from all sides, but politicians who support it agree that trying these people in an American courtroom would let far too many guilty people walk.
In my opinion, these tribunals are a great idea. Now that may sound harsh or extreme, but Ive said it before and Ill say it again: desperate times call for desperate measures. These tribunals will ensure that terrorists do not go free to continue their campaigns. There will be no high-budget lawyers to find loop holes in the case claiming tainted evidence because of the way it was obtained. This kind of threat deserves no loop hole and these tribunals would offer the perfect swift punishment these terrorists ought to have.