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March 09, 2017

Sessions Comment Ignores Success of Federal Courts in Prosecuting Terrorism

Washington, D.C.—In response to comments made today by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he supports sending terrorism suspects to Guantanamo Bay and the military commissions proceedings against 9/11 suspects, Human Rights First’s Daphne Eviatar has issued the following statement:

“The problem with the military commissions over the last 15 years isn't that the Obama Administration allowed ‘legal complications,’ but that the military has no experience or expertise trying terrorism cases, and that military commission law has no precedent to serve as a guide.”

“Federal courts, meanwhile, have the world's most experienced and skilled terrorism prosecutors and judges, with many decades of clear precedent to pave the way for efficient prosecutions. More than 550 people have been successfully prosecuted for terrorism-related offenses in federal courts since 9/11. The commissions have managed to complete only eight cases in that time, and half the verdicts in those cases have been overturned. 

“Attorney General Sessions can study the problem, but he's not going to find a more efficient and credible way to prosecute terrorism suspects than in the constitutionally created U.S. federal court system.”

For more information or to speak with Eviatar, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.