Coercion and Terrorism Prosecutions in the Shadow of Military Detention

By Yin, Tung | Brigham Young University Law Review, September 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Coercion and Terrorism Prosecutions in the Shadow of Military Detention


Yin, Tung, Brigham Young University Law Review


I. Introduction........................................................................ 1256

II. Use of the Criminal Justice System Against Terrorist Suspects.................................................................... 1261

A. John Walker Lindh.......................................................... 1262

B. Jose Padilla..................................................................... 1264

C. Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri................................................. 1267

D. Zacarias Moussaoui......................................................... 1269

E. The Lackawanna Six........................................................ 1271

F. The Portland Cell............................................................ 1273

III. Is Military Detention Worse than Civilian Imprisonment? .. 1274

A. Procedural Due Process Available.................................... 1275

B. Conditions of Confinement............................................. 1277

IV. Plea Bargaining, Blackmail, and Coercion.......................... 1281

A. Plea Bargaining and Coercion.......................................... 1282

1. Comparing threats of increased charges versus military detention............................................................. 1285

2. Distinguishing military detention from parallel civil and criminal proceedings........................................................ 1288

3. The impact of transfer of defendants to military detention on their lawyers................................................ 1292

4. Summary..................................................................... 1295

B. Blackmail and Coercion................................................... 1296

1. Blackmail theory.......................................................... 1297

2. The limits of the blackmail analogy............................... 1301

3. The difficulty of remedying coercion............................. 1306

V. Prosecutorial Retaliation and Due Process........................... 1309

A. Development of the Vindictive Prosecution Doctrine....... 1309

B. Understanding Vindictive Prosecution as Deterrence of Rights ........................................................... 1312

C. Adaptation to Terrorism Prosecutions in the Shadow of Military Detention............................................................... 1315

D. Non-vindictive Reasons for Transferring a Defendant into Military Custody................................................................. 1318

E. Anticipating Potential Government Responses ................. 1322

F. Alternative Remedies and Procedures............................... 1326

1. No military detention of residents or citizens ................ 1326

2. Enemy combatant status as a threshold matter.............. 1329

VI. Conclusion....................................................................... 1330

I. INTRODUCTION

The federal government's antiterrorism efforts in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks highlight the irreducible tension between the need for executive discretion to act quickly and effectively against imminent threats, and the need for oversight to prevent-or at least identify-governmental abuse of that same discretion. Certain aspects of the war on terrorism require unilateral Executive Branch action. It would have been unworkable, for example, for Congress or the courts to have supervised tactical battlefield decisions in Afghanistan. Without sufficient checks, however, the Executive Branch may expand its zone of discretion well beyond battlefield tactics, even into areas in which Congress has already spoken-as demonstrated by the Bush Administration's late 2005 disclosure that the National security Agency had been engaging in warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens,1 in apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. …

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