The Champion

May 2012 , Page 8 

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Death Penalty Charges Referred for 9/11 Defendants (NACDL News)

By Jack King

Read more NACDL News columns.

The Pentagon formally referred charges on April 5th against five Guantánamo detainees accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. A retired admiral in charge of the military commissions recommended that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants face the death penalty if convicted by a military commission. NACDL issued a statement in response reiterating its position that these prosecutions should be returned to federal court for proper trials.

The military commissions system falls far short of bedrock American principles of fairness and due process, the statement said. Evidence presented in any death penalty proceeding must be of the highest reliability. The present commissions system still permits the government to introduce hearsay and derivative evidence obtained through the coercive and extreme interrogation methods of years past.

In March, Attorney General Eric Holder restated his long-held belief that the federal court system has prove

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