Essay about Ruling of Gitmo Detainees

Essay about Ruling of Gitmo Detainees

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The June 2008 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Boumediene v. Bush gave prisoners detained at Guantanamo the constitutional rights to habeas corpus, which prohibits the withholding of a prisoner’s rights to challenge the basis of their detention except in “cases of rebellion or invasion” (Worthington). The decision ruled 5 to 4 that the prisoners have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention (Greenhouse). Previous court proceedings set up Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CRST) as alternative standards to Habeas Corpus. Prisoners were not allowed legal representation and the U.S. could present “secret” evidence that they were unable to see. In June 2007, LTC Stephen Abraham, an intelligence officer who worked on the CSRTs, questioned their legitimacy and labeled them administrative show trials full of generic evidence that rubber stamped prisoner’s designations as “enemy combatants”(Worthington). His testimony spurred on the review of prisoners rights to habeas corpus and helped pave the way for the ensuing case of Boumediene v. Bush. Although the intent to give the prisoners at Guantanamo the constitutional rights to habeas corpus is judicially admirable, the lack of clear definition leaves lower courts with the responsibility of procedure and sets a dangerous precedent that allows the enemy to benefit from our court systems.
The Supreme Court left to district courts the responsibility for working through the procedure that would govern resulting habeas corpus proceedings. The primary question revolving around the habeas corpus decision is to what level of proof does the U.S. have to show for detaining a prisoner?(Waxman) Determining if it is some evidence, clear and convincing...


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...nment’s presentation of the case because it could not “prove” that Al-Mutari definitively trained with Al-Qaida groups (Waxman).
The Constitution of the United States established the judicial system as a check on the legislative and executive branch, but by trying to provide equality it enabled the enemy to exploit legal technicalities. It seems that we should apply logic and common sense when interpreting the decision of the Supreme Court rulings, but as evident by the decisions of multiple lower courts, the interpretation of a ruling can muddy what appears on the surface to be an upfront, equitable, and fair decision. Boumediere v. Bush appears to provide Guantanamo prisoners impartial representation, but in reality allows them to make a mockery of the American judicial system and sets a deadly precedent that thwarts our efforts on the War against Terrorism.


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