The Terror Tribunals, To Be Continued

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 21 2008 10:07 AM

The Terror Tribunals, To Be Continued

Ben, you posed great questions the other day about the 9/11 plotters, their culpability and appropriate punishment,the due process that the military tribunals set up to try them coulddeliver, and, especially, what "real due process" would look like forthem. For me the answers to the first two questions are tied up in eachother. Because of my doubts about the procedural protections to beafforded KSM et al, in particular the influence of torture testimonyon  their trials (whether or not it's directly admitted), I don'tthink they should be executed, despite their culpability. I just don'twant this country to be a place where people are sentenced to die basedon a prosecution that is tainted by torture testimony.

There are a lot of hard questions that this sliver of certaintydoesn't address: What's supposed to happen to these detainees, then,and your crucial question, what due process should they get?I'm only beginning to stumble toward my own answers. I know you'vethought a lot more about this than I have, thanks to theimpressive-looking advance copy of your new book, Law and the Long War ,that is sitting on my desk. We probably come out in different places onvarious points, but I'd love to hear your thoughts whenever you thinkthe time is right. (And everyone else's, too, of course.)

Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.