Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WAR ON TERRORISM Tribunals Are Just

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WAR ON TERRORISM Tribunals Are Just

Article excerpt

The Bush administration has taken an extraordinary step in setting up a legal process to prosecute foreign prisoners from the Afghan war on terrorism.

Such measures have not been used since after World War II, during the Truman presidency. But then, as now, these are extraordinary times involving war-time enemies.

In a limited number of cases, the tribunals would be used against foreign terrorists who are accused of committing acts of war against our country and its residents.

Under the guidelines for the proceedings, suspects would be presumed innocent and would be allowed to see the evidence used against them. They could receive military lawyers at government expense or have the option of obtaining a private attorney.

The press would be allowed to cover most proceedings, and a unanimous verdict from a presiding review panel would be needed for a death penalty.

The rules on introducing evidence would be looser than in civilian courts, which could work either for or against the suspects. …

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