The US has floated plans to turn Guatanamo Bay into a death camp, with prisoners to be tried by kangaroo courts of 3 to 7 US military officers, with a US air force Colonel as defence counsel, and no jury. Any defense lawyers wishing to defend the accused will need to agree to give up customary attorney-client privilege rights, give up the right to contest the proceedings, give up the right to work with other defense lawyers on joint defense tactics, and they’ll be shut out of part of the proceedings. Oh, and the US government has to approve them first.
Even NewsMax seems a little wary of the fact that the panel of 3 to 7 officers will be able to convict and sentence to death by a simple majority vote, and points out that the tribunals are contrary to the Geneva Conventions and have been formally condemned by the European parliament by a vote of 439 to 10. Attempts to challenge the Guatanamo Bay process via the Supreme Court have failed, though a more direct challenge may yet get heard. Only 36 of the 660+ prisoners have been released, but lawyers say only a few will be tried before tribunals. Let’s hope so, or once the trials get started they might need to build a crematorium. (In which case, perhaps they could get AEG to help out, those guys really know how to build big ovens.)