Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues [April 14, 2009]   [open pdf - 426KB]

"The closure of the Guantanamo detention facility may raise a number of legal issues with respect to the individuals formerly interned there, particularly if those detainees are transferred to the United States. The nature and scope of constitutional protections owed to detainees within the United States may be different than the protections owed to persons held at Guantanamo or elsewhere. This may have implications for the continued detention or prosecution of persons who are transferred to the United States. The transfer of detainees to the United States may also have immigration consequences. Notably, some detainees might qualify for asylum or other protections under immigration law. This report provides an overview of major legal issues likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees (either to a foreign country or into the United States), the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought to the United States. The report also discusses selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees, emphasizing the procedural and substantive protections that are utilized in different adjudicatory forums (i.e., federal civilian courts, courtmartial proceedings, and military commissions). Issues discussed include detainees' right to a speedy trial, the prohibition against prosecution under ex post facto laws, and limitations upon the admissibility of hearsay and secret evidence in criminal cases."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40139
Public Domain
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