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Legal Questions over Guantanamo Bay Detainees Remain

By Kamika Dunlap on December 21, 2009 12:50 PM

Many legal questions still need to be answered about how to handle Guantanamo Bay detainees.

This dilemma continues to be a hot topic along with the 9/11 Trial Security Plans, as previously discussed.

Recently, however, Judge Royce Lamberth weighed in on the Guantanamo Bay detainees when he spoke at an event organized by the American Bar Association.

According to the Associated Press, the chief judge of the federal district court in Washington, D.C. publically endorsed Attorney General Eric Holder's recent decision to put the reputed Sept. 11 mastermind and four accused henchmen on trial in New York federal court.

In his opinion, US courts have been used to try gangs more deadly than some Guantanamo Bay detainees. Lamberth presided over a 2004 trial in which six members of a gang called Murder Inc. were accused of killing at least 31 people, including witnesses to the gang's crimes.

It was one of the most tightly guarded trials and the judge and jury were protected by bullet proof glass.

Lamberth insisted the court system can handle the cases involving terror suspects. However, he didn't want to get into a political debate about whether detainees should be tried in military commissions or civilian courts, as we have previously discussed.

President Barack Obama recently ordered Thomson Correctional Center in rural Illinois will be the new home for a limited number of terrorist suspects who are currently Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The judge suggested a gag order could be imposed on all the lawyers in any such case to keep the proceedings from getting out of hand.

He also said that it is possible defendants will use the trial to launch anti-American invective but it probably cannot be prevented since it is a free country.

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