Chris Dodd To Introduce Bill to Restore Habeas

Kudos to CT Senator Chris Dodd who will introduce the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act of 2006 (complete bill here, pdf) which would amend the Military Commissions Act to restore habeas corpus to detainees and bar evidence obtained through coercive techniques.

“I take a backseat to no one when it comes to protecting this country from terrorists,” Sen. Dodd said. “But there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this. It’s clear the people who perpetrated these horrendous crimes against our country and our people have no moral compass and deserve to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But in taking away their legal rights, the rights first codified in our country’s Constitution, we’re taking away our own moral compass, as well.”

The key provisions, received from his office, are set forth below.

The Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act:

  • Restores Habeas Corpus protections to detainees
  • Narrows the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are
    not lawful combatants
  • Bars information gained through coercion from being introduced as evidence in trials
  • Empowers military judges to exclude hearsay evidence the deem to be unreliable
  • Authorizes the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to review decisions by the Military commissions
  • Limits the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and makes that authority subject to congressional and judicial oversight
  • Provides for expedited judicial review of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to determine the constitutionally of its provisions

The bill will be one of the first things taken up by the new Senate Judiciary Committee when it meets in January.

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    Dodd's first steps (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cjkinsey on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:29:04 AM EST
    I think this is a great first step. I say first step, because I do think it is imperative upon us to prosecute abuses as those hinted to have been committed by our president. If indeed it can be shown, and it our imperative to find out the truth, then he most certainly should lose all imunity and be prosecuted. It came out this week with little fan fair, that the president himself may have authorized some of the torture activities.

    109th or 110th? (none / 0) (#2)
    by thomasn528 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    The bill will be one of the first things taken up by the new Senate Judiciary Committee when it meets in January.

    The text of the bill says 109th Congress.  Do bills introduced in the 109th remain introduced in the 110th Congress?  I imagine you're right, I just don't know how these things work; it's not clear to me from the Dodd press release at any rate.