Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court [April 6, 2010]   [open pdf - 285KB]

"The Obama Administration's decision to try certain detainees and other terrorist suspects in federal criminal court, including those accused of conspiring to commit the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the man arrested after a failed aircraft bombing on Christmas day, and to try other detainees by military commission, has focused attention on the procedural differences between trials in federal court and those conducted under the Military Commissions Act, as recently amended. Some who are opposed to the decision argue that bringing detainees to the United States for trial poses a security threat and risks disclosing classified information, or could result in the acquittal of persons who are guilty. Others have praised the decision as recognizing the efficacy and fairness of the federal court system and have voiced confidence in the courts' ability to protect national security while achieving justice that will be perceived as such among U.S. allies abroad. [...] This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a table comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40932
Public Domain
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