CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Deal Averts Trial in Disputed Guantánamo Case"

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — A former child soldier being held at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, pleaded guilty on Monday to terrorism-related charges, averting the awkward prospect that he would be the first person to stand trial before a military commission under the Obama administration.

. . .

By avoiding the need for a trial of Mr. Khadr, the deal represents a breakthrough for the Obama administration’s legal team, which had been dismayed that his case was to become the inaugural run of a new-look commissions system — undermining their efforts to rebrand the tribunals as a fair and just venue for prosecuting terrorism suspects.

. . .

The centerpiece of the charges was not a conventional terrorism offense — targeting civilians — but killing an enemy soldier in combat. Usually in war, battlefield killing is not prosecuted. But the United States contended that Mr. Khadr lacked battlefield immunity because he wore no uniform, among other requirements of the laws of war.

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