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The Case for Federal Courts: Why suspected terrorists should not be tried in military commissions

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Katrina I.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Military commissions, failing to provide certain protections, are a defilement of National and International Laws
  3. Military commissions contribute to a bad international reputation
  4. Federal courts, as time-tested forums for trying suspected terrorists, are better than military commissions
  5. 'Enemy combatant' is an illegitimate term that cannot rightly be applied to a suspected terrorist
  6. Conclusion

Federal courts are a time-tested, constitutionally sound, and internationally approved system for prosecuting designated ?enemy combatants.? The United States Constitution is intended not to grant rights, but to protect those rights in the face of the power of the federal government. Military commissions not only fail to provide constitutional protections, which, by rule of tradition, apply wherever the federal government reaches its hand, but also are not feasible in their notoriety or in the illegitimate title of their fabricated captive: the enemy combatant. Terrorism is a criminal act, and must be treated as such in order to preserve our nation's integrity and honor.

The lawful protection of all persons in relation with the United States, citizens or aliens, males, females, people of all nationalities, races, religions, and yes, even of all criminal stripes, are encompassed in a single phrase in the fourteenth amendment: Due process. That, in turn, is best defined by a single word: fairness. This country's federal courts were carefully crafted and have been meticulously perfected over two centuries precisely for the sake of preserving proper due process. Military tribunals for prisoners of war have also existed since the country's inception, and though they do tend to subvert due process, they are regulated by national and international laws of war. Military commissions for so-called ?enemy combatants,? however, are not governed by these laws, though they are supposed to be.

[...] . "Hearsay Evidence." Repair and Maintenance Manuals - Integrated Publishing. N.p., n.d. Web May 2010. . Supra note 2 "Military Commissions Act of 2006." Library of Congress. N.p., n.d. Web May 2010. . Supra note 2 Mariner, Joanne. First Look at the Military Commissions Act of 2009, Part Two." FindLaw's Writ Legal Commentary. N.p., n.d. Web May 2010. . Wang, Tova . "The Military Tribunals Debate." The Century Foundation. N.p., n.d. [...]


[...] Depending on which one they are deemed to be by a proper tribunal, not some defective CSRT, they are to be tried as civilians in federal courts or in military courts as soldiers with full Geneva protections. They are one or the other. There is no in-between, and titles claiming them as such are illegal. Conclusion Terrorism is a criminal act, and as it is such, suspected terrorists must be tried in federal courts. However, if their acts are deemed violations of the laws of war, then the may be tried as prisoners in military commissions, but only with full Geneva protections. [...]


[...] N.p., n.d. Web May 2010. . Supra note 5 Ibid. Petty, Keith. "Beyond the Court of Public Opinion: Military Commissions and the Reputational Pull of Compliance Theory by Keith Petty." Social Science Research Network. N.p., n.d. Web May 2010. . Vandeveld, [...]

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