CHICAGO, Nov. 17, 2017 — The American Bar Association updated its web-based ABA Legal Fact Check today with an examination of who has the final say in determining whether non-citizen domestic terrorists are tried in military tribunals or in civilian courts.
Sayfullo Saipov, a non-citizen in the U.S., has admitted, according to news reports, that he drove a truck killing eight people down a bike path on Oct. 31 in New York City. U.S. Sen. John McCain, among others, have called for a military tribunal to consider charges. But the Trump administration has filed charges in federal court in New York.
Prior to 9/11, no military tribunals for non-citizen domestic terrorists had been convened since World War II. In 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proclamation that effectively detained, without civilian trial, eight captured Germans who had entered the U.S. on submarines on a sabotage mission. The high court determined the Germans were not entitled to habeas corpus proceedings to challenge their detention and found they “shall be subject to the law of war and to the jurisdiction of military tribunals.” After 9/11, several laws were enacted relating to military tribunals for foreigners accused of domestic terrorism, and the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision in 2006.
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