Military Commission Bill: The Nuts and Bolts
Amnesty International has put together the nuts and bolts of the Military Commission bill passed by both Houses:
Among other things, the Act will:
- Strip the US courts of jurisdiction to hear or consider habeas corpus appeals challenging the lawfulness or conditions of detention of anyone held in US custody as an "enemy combatant". Judicial review of cases would be severely limited. The law would apply retroactively, and thus could result in more than 200 pending appeals filed on behalf of GuantÃ¡namo detainees being thrown out of court.
- Permit the executive to convene military commissions to try "alien unlawful enemy combatants", as determined by the executive under a dangerously broad definition, in trials that would provide foreign nationals so labeled with a lower standard of justice than US citizens accused of the same crimes. This would violate the prohibition on the discriminatory application of fair trial rights.
- Permit the use in military commission trials of evidence extracted under cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Give the military commissions the power to hand down death sentences after trials that did not meet international standards.
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