White House revives military commission option for 9-11 trials: reports

White House advisers are considering recommending that accused 9-11 co-conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be tried in a military court rather than through the civilian criminal justice system, according to March 5 reports. The Washington Post reported that President Obama‘s legal advisers are finishing their review of the Mohammed file, and CNN confirmed that a military tribunal is still an option. Authorities have been unable to decide where to try Mohammed, with many Republicans and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposed to holding the trial in a civilian court in Manhattan.

But many groups oppose trying the suspects in military tribunals, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) saying that despite recent improvements “the military commissions system is incapable of handling complicated terrorism cases and achieving reliable results. President Obama must not cave in to political pressure and fear-mongering. He should hold firm and keep these prosecutions in federal court, where they belong.”

While no official recommendation has been given to Obama, administration officials hope a decision will be made by March 18.

From Jurist, March 5. Used with permission.

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