Mukasey, Justice, and Emily

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 19 2008 11:59 PM

Mukasey, Justice, and Emily

Emily’s brief post raises several fascinating questions, which seem to me to warrant fleshing out. The key sentence is the following: "if the government executes these men [the 9/11 plotters] after the coercive interrogation (torture) some of them experienced and all the failings of the this-ride-only military tribunals set up to try them, the damage Guantanamo has done to the reputation of our justice system will be raised by a power of ten." But that specter, she writes may concentrate the mind. So "maybe the threat of the death penalty is the best hope that they will get some semblance of real due process."



So here are my questions—to Emily and to all:


1)       Whatever people think of the death penalty, should the circumstances of these detainees’ interrogation ameliorate their sentences? I can see why we would want to suppress evidence obtained under duress. I’m not sure I see why being coercively interrogated—even tortured—lessens one's culpability for September 11, assuming that culpability can be proven without relying on evidence obtained improperly.

2)       Are we really so confident that these tribunals are incapable of delivering a semblance of real due process? Are they really that different from other ad hoc tribunals countries have set up to deal with extraordinary international criminal trials? Nuremberg, after all, was a this-ride-only military tribunal and we think of it as a triumph of international justice. Do we really think fair trials are impossible under the Military Commissions Act and, if so, why?

3)       What would "real due process" look like for these defendants at this time?


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

How in the World Did Turkey Just Get 46 Hostages Back From ISIS?

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.