Pentagon Funds Civilian Death Penalty Lawyer for Guantanamo Detainee

The Pentagon is considering a death penalty trial for Abd al Rahim al Nashiri at Guantanamo. al-Nashiri is accused of orchestrating the U.S.S. Cole bombings near Yemen in 2000.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Reyes and New Mexico criminal defense attorney Nancy Hollander are already on the case. This week, the Pentagon agreed to also fund death penalty lawyer, Rick Kammen of Indiana, at the CJA rate of $178 per hour. The Pentagon authorized 200 hours for Kammen, who previously represented al-Nashiri, to cover the period up to the Pentagon's final decision on whether to seek death. The order is here. The order says Kammen's representation will benefit both the Government and the defense.

The Pentagon is required, by law, to pay for an experienced death penalty counsel under 18 U.S.C. § 949a(b)(2)©(ii) and R.M.C. 506(b).

I don't know Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Reyes, but I do know both Nancy and Rick, and they will be great advocates for al-Nashiri. [More...]

As to the U.S.S. Cole:

Seventeen American sailors were killed when al Qaeda suicide bombers blew up a boat laden with explosives alongside the $1 billion destroyer off Aden, Yemen, in October 2000. A Pentagon charge sheet accused Nashiri, 46, of orchestrating the attack.

The charges against al Nashiri are here.

He was one of the three persons subjected to water-boarding in CIA black hole overseas prisons. He was captured in 2002, and former President Bush ordered him moved to Guantanamo in 2006. In addition,

The Associated Press also reported that a CIA agent revved an electric drill near Nashiri’s head and wielded a handgun during interrogation in a secret “black site” in Poland in 2002-2003.

More details on al-Nashiri's torture here. The last military execution was the hanging of Army PFC John Bennett on April 13, 1961.

So, now that Congress has forbidden funds to bring detainees at Guantanamo to the U.S., where will the execution take place if he's convicted and sentenced to death? The only federal death penalty facility is in Terre Haute. Will we have to pay for a new one to be built at Gitmo?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Really stupid of them to consider (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 01, 2011 at 07:14:29 AM EST
    the death penalty from a "future war" standpoint that the Pentagon is supposed to prevent happening when they can.  We already know that if we kill al-Nashiri, in Muslim culture he becomes a martyr and his death will become a glory that will inspire future terrorists.