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Detainees Now Have Access to Federal Court
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post


Washington Post, June 13, 2008
Posted: June 18th, 2008
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06...

Defense attorneys for the 270 detainees at Guantanamo Bay said the Supreme Court decision yesterday that granted detainees habeas corpus rights was a watershed moment that will allow the men, some held for as long as 6 1/2 years, to challenge their detentions before a civilian judge. The court's ruling immediately gives the detainees access to a federal court in Washington, where lawyers will seek to have judges order the men released from indefinite detention. Legal experts said it is unclear how the hearings will proceed, but the government could be compelled to present highly classified evidence, and detainees could for the first time be able to publicly call witnesses, present evidence of abuse and rebut terrorism allegations. The decision could force the U.S. government to show why individual detainees must be held, something U.S. officials have fought for years. As many as 130 detainees have been deemed dangerous but are unlikely to ever face criminal charges, according to prosecutors, and now government officials could have to argue for indefinite detention even if the evidence is flimsy or nonexistent. "We're going to see a high number of people the government is going to have to release," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has represented Guantanamo Bay detainees since 2002. It is unclear how the Boumediene v. Bush decision will affect military commissions trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where 20 detainees, including ... Khalid Sheik Mohammed, have been charged with war crimes.


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