Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hamdan convicted in mixed verdict at Guantanamo

According to Reuters, accused war criminal Salim Hamdan was convicted today on five counts of providing material support for terrorism, but acquitted on two counts of conspiring with al Qaeda to attack civilians, destroy property, and commit murder in violation of the laws of war.

Hamdan's conviction was based on personal services he provided as bin Laden's driver and bodyguard. The acquittal on the conspiracy charges would appear to moot the instructional issues discussed yesterday in this post.

Sentencing proceedings are scheduled to begin today. Hamdan faces the possibility of confinement for life.

7 comments:

biff (not legrand) said...

Not to be too picky, but is it true that acquittal ends the matter at a military tribunal? In other words, does the 5th Amendment double jeopardy bar apply to these proceedings?

I think the question is more than an academic one since we've already seen that involuntary statements taken in violation of 5th Amendment compulsory self-incrimination provision are admissible.

For me, watching the government appeal an acquittal would ice the cake, if you get my drift....

biff said...

I think I answered my own question. It appears that the President or the SecDef may disapprove the findings of not guilty and send it back to the tribunal for further proceedings. Apparently, jeopardy does not attach until the findings are approved.

Anonymous said...

biff,

Don't you worry...we'll get these sons of bitches one way or another.

No Man said...

Moot the issue of the instructional problem? Au Contraire Mon Frere, I think it heightens the government's fears about the effect of the instruction. I think this makes government charging decisions difficult because it instantly injects a non-constitutional issue that could result in reversal into the case. Can you imagine the next case being reversed due to a non-constitutional issue? Talk about painful.

Publius said...

Bif

Check out 10 U.S.C. § 949h.

Former jeopardy
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—No person may, without his consent, be tried by a military commission under this chapter a second time for the same offense.

biff said...

Thanks, Publius (Madison, Hamilton or Jay?)

p.s. Now that Hamdan got 66 months, and he's already served 60, he may well have a 5th amendment claim when they refuse to release him at full term.

Anonymous said...

Think again, Biff. We call them "enemy combatants" for a reason. This trial was a sideshow. We'll release him when we damn well please.