Detainee Trials At A Glance
Friday, January 19, 2007; 12:16 PM
Highlights of the Pentagon's manual for military trials of suspected terrorism suspects:
• Allows as evidence statements obtained using coercion so long as the statement was obtained before December 2005, when a law banning cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as defined by the Constitution when into effect.
• Allows hearsay evidence.
• Defendants selected for trial must be assigned defense counsel.
• When the government wants to protect classified information and an unclassified substitute is not available, the government could decide to drop the charges.
• Sets maximum punishments allowable for specific crimes, such as life imprisonment for knowingly aiding the enemy or the death penalty for participating in a conspiracy to commit a war crime
• Spells out the elements of war crimes prosecutable by military commission, including rape, torture and cruel or inhuman treatment.
• Defines cruel or inhuman treatment as severe physical or mental pain or suffering, including procedures that profoundly disrupt the senses.