Business Law Research Paper
Military Tribunal: Past and Present
Military tribunals are a type of court that tries criminals who have violated a common law of war. They have been authorized by both executive and legislative powers, while the Supreme Court has reviewed the constitutionality of the tribunals. The recent debate over the how to handle the terrorists responsible for September 11 has again sparked controversy amongst politicians in Congress as well as families of the victims. On November 13th 2009, President Obama announced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would be tried in a Manhattan federal courtroom that is located only blocks away from where the attacks on the World Trade Center took place. This has spurred controversy on whether or not the usage of military tribunals is and should be allowed by law. However military tribunals are not anything new and there has been controversy over their use since the Revolutionary War. The reason there has been so much controversy on the usage of these tribunals, lies in its different procedure as compared to civilian courts. For example the military tribunal is made up military officers for judge, juror, and lawyers where there is no room for appeal except to a panel of three higher officers. Also they are allowed to hold their trials secretly and even gain evidence through torture. Even so, military tribunals are being used today and only by looking at history can we get an idea of when and why they are used.
This paper will first analyze the history of the military tribunal, along with who has jurisdiction, as well as the Supreme Court reviewing these decisions. Secondly it will compare and contrast the recent use of Tribunals by both Bush and Obama with the precedents that came before them. Finally I will analyze the supporters and critiques of using federal courts to prosecute the people who are responsible for one of the most deadly terrorist attacks our... [continues]
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