Concerns with Revisions to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the Senate-Passed Version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009 … The undersigned organizations want to make clear both our opposition to resuming the use of military commissions to try terrorism suspects, and our concern with numerous provisions in the amendment to the MCA that we strongly urge you to consider. … military commissions would still be incapable of delivering on the twin goals of any effective judicial system: ensuring that justice is fair, and ensuring that justice is swift.
- Champion Article
In his Keynote Address at NACDL’s conference in Miami, Brigadier General John G. Baker, head of the Military Commissions Defense Organization (MCDO), shared his views regarding the events that have unfolded at Guantanamo Bay. General Baker, who supervises the defense teams, discussed some of the major issues facing the MCDO defense teams, saying that these issues “shine a light on why lawyering matters and what it truly means to be a criminal defense attorney.”
- Champion Article
The Military Commission Travesty at Guantanamo Leads to Judicial Reaffirmation of a Basic Principle
A judge, while presiding over a case at Guantanamo, secretly negotiated for a job as an immigration judge in the U.S. Department of Justice (Executive Office for Immigration Review). Thus, the judge presided over a case in which his potential employer appeared. That alone should be sufficient grounds to require disqualification.
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of appellant.
Argument: NACDL submits that the Brady violation in this case is not an isolated aberration, but rather is evidence of a systemic problem in military jurisprudence. Military prosecutors have a legal and ethical duty to seek justice, not convictions, and if trial counsel has a bona fide question as to whether or not something is or is not Brady material, it should be submitted to the military judge for resolution. Absent that, then any violation of Brady will be presumed to be prejudicial absent the government’s demonstration to the contrary by the beyond a reasonable doubt standard.