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U.S. Terror Tribunals: Fair Trial or Kangaroo Court

As the Pentagon finalizes plans for military trials of the terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, some legal experts are voicing doubts that justice will be done. Donald Rehkopf, co-chair of the military committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, called the planned military commissions “an embarrassment to democracy.” “This is a show. It’s a kangaroo court of the worst sort,” he said, describing the rules as crafted to guarantee convictions, compel guilty pleas and make it as easy as possible to get the death penalty. “I was actually shocked at how one-sided these rules were,” said Michael Ratner, president of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. “Even a military tribunal I don’t think has to be this biased and unfair toward the defendant.” The Defense Department this month issued instructions for conducting the trials and last week named Army Col. Frederic Borch as the head prosecutor and Air Force Col. Will Gunn as the lead defense counsel. Full Story

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