U.S. May Permit 9/11 Guilty Pleas in Capital Cases

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal report that the Obama administration is internally circulating a proposal that could allow some terrorism suspects at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to enter guilty pleas without representation and to be sentenced without going to trial. This plan could enable prisoners who appear to want to confess so they can be executed and achieve martyrdom to achieve their purported goal. This, some contend, would save this country from the hassles and embarrassment involved in finding a legitimate solution to the problems created by their incarceration and the difficulties of providing them with trials which contain the minimum due process required by a civilized nation.

While many states permit guilty pleas in capital cases, they often require the state to prove its case before a death sentence is ordered. Would we be satisfied to put these men to death based on guilty pleas resulting from torture or mental illness?

This is one shortcut that just won’t bear scrutiny or even pass the smell test.

Let’s hope this was just a misguided trial balloon.

Why has there been no outcry? Shame on us.


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