17 November 2009

The Challenges of the 9/11 Trial

The various legal challenges that will result due to the announcement recently that several of the 9/11 conspirators will be tried in a civilian court and not a military tribunal present students of the law with some excellent questions to consider. We will follow these trials and the news surrounding them for the remainder of the term. Prior to posting a response to the questions, take the time to read the document I have linked to the Law and Society page spelling out the basic differences between military and civilian courts.

Here are the prompts:

1. Do you believe that by trying the suspects in a civilian court, the Justice Department of the Obama Administration is "redefining" the issue -- as in, viewing 9/11 as a crime instead of an act of war?

2. Does it concern you that the trials may become a public forum for the terrorists?

3. Are you concerned that the interrogation methods that the government was using (most notably "waterboarding") for the past 6 years will inevitably be challenged throughout the trial?

4. Finally, are you concerned about potential security issues that will surround the trials?

Feel free to offer your opinion on any or all of these questions.


Hayley Lane said...

I do agree that the justice department is "redefining" the case of 9/11. I have always believed it was a crime that lead to war. The man who committed these acts was a military man and should be tried as a criminal. He committed murder, thus, a sentence must be put in place. I am very concerned with the security issues as well, as I believe this is just opening up doors for those who do not agree with America's decisions to act out.

sean chojnacki said...

I feel that allowing the conspirators to be tried in the U.S. is an open invitation for them to spread their propaganda and slander causing more issues over seas and at home in our nation. The acts committed by these people was not a crime it was an act of terrorism to cause a U.S. response and start a global confict. By attacking the United States these free radical groups wanted the U.S. to suffer and possibly fall. Security around these trails I feel had better include highly trained military personal because there is a great risk of U.S. civilans taking justice into their own hands.

Fawn said...

Personally, I do not see why it matters which court he is tried in, as long as he is punished for his actions. If I had to choose, however, I feel that he should be tried in a military court. When you think about it, criminal acts are done in war all of the time. Men kill other men for their country. This was an act of war, and therefore should be dealt with like any other act of war. He did not decide to do this for himself, it was for his country and for his people. If they go in the criminal court trial direction, I feel that many problems could occur. I understand that the people of the United States want to be able to see justice, but people need to learn to forgive. He will be punished no matter what, and whether you are able to see that or not should not matter(in my opinion).

Robert Gerzsik said...

I think that the right decision for the justice department would be to try him in a military court as opposed to a civilian court. The reason he should be tried in the military court is because if he was tried in a civilian court you problably wouldnt be able to find a non-biased court in the city of New York. Another reason is if he was tried in a civilian court is because he was waterboarded which is a form of torture which is outlawed by the geneva convention and they might not give him as severe of a sentence even though that is unfair. But no matter which court they choose there are going to be criminal trials for the accused and they will be brought to justice.

Adam A said...

I think that the criminals behind the 9/11 attacks should be tried in a federal court due to the fact that justce in america is always setteled in courts either in counties, states, or national. If we did it in a military court then this will be a succes more for the military. If we do it in a federal court then it is success for america and the families, of all the people lost on the day of sep. 11.

Byron Finck said...

I feel that the 9/11 bombings was a criminal act. I would agree with Hayley because this act persuaded us into war. We were not in war or had intentions to with this subject. With this being on the air the terrorists will be pleased more because this is one of the things that they want. They want everybody to fear them. So with this court case on the air and them getting to see what we are going to do to their own people the will realize that they are messing with a country that is the wrong country to be messing with. Not only will we convict the suspects now but we will convict every person who had a dealing with the 9/11 bombings until they are completely gone. They will get more than just life in prison. They will get to see all the family’s, that had lost somebody, face and realize what it did and know that their friends will be watching and end up in same place. "Waterboarding" in this case was very acceptable. They committed a crime that killed hundreds and affect this whole country and the rest of the world. With what they did we should have been able to do this. The security will be so tight that nobody will have ability to do anything about the trials.

Audra Schjeldahl said...

I have contrasting views on the issue of where they should be tried. Should it be in military court, as requested by a murderer? Some wil say yes, because it was a "military" plan, (In the eyes of the attackers) Therefor should be tried as a military crime. Im not so sure that would be correct to do. Do we give them directly what they want? Let them give there admission statement, and be put to death? Or, would that be helping a terrorist, putting a terrorist out of misery that he well deserves!?
Then some say, this should be a public trial. Under the circumstances, I really feel no feeling of uncertainty towards the security issues. The United States will not be letting just "any old person" into this trial. In class someone argued that it should be public so that familys of the 9/11 victims can watch. In my mind: potentially to hate. What kind of closure can you get from being near killers, people that conspired to kill, and people that killed your family, your friends, and your workmates. Will it only create more hate? Is that what this world needs?
This should be debated to the exremity, and should be wvery well thought out, by each and every involved, decision making official.

Nick Eden said...

I do believe that the terrorists should be tried in the criminal court because they did commit a crime in the U.S. but it was not actually commited on a military base. On the other hand if you are to put these terrorists on trial in New York how will you find a jury that will not make a verdict based on all of the news coverage on 9/11 pre-trial and post-trial. Do I think the water-boarding issue would effect the case at all? I think that they might bring up the debate with it but ultimately I think the judge would say it was irrelevent to the particular case. This is a really debatable case but if the terrorist did it on an act of war then they should be tried in a military court system. I do not think terrorists from a diffrent country should have the same rights as if they were American citizens.

Hayley Lane said...

After reading all of the comments that were posted on this particular topic, I have come to a conclusion: There can be no impartial way to try these people. Our biases and severe nationalism make us so against any act of terrorism that we become violent at the mention of it. Therefore, I say the matter should be dropped and the man, who is obviously guilty of the crime he committed, be locked away somewhere and never seen again.