The Detainee Case Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States are two recent detainee cases. Mustafa Ait Idir was accused in terrorism by the Bush administration. However, the man claims that he is an innocent person, who was caught and arrested by mistake in the legal limbo of Guantanamo Bay. Although he didnt succeed to prove his innocence in 2004, in 2007 he and other 340 foreign-born Guantanamo Bay detainees finally got a possibility to challenge their imprisonment before the Supreme Court through the habeas corpus writ. In case the men succeed, this will evidently change the way how the United States leads its open-ended war on terrorism.
The Supreme Court will have to decide on whether foreign-born detainees are protected by the U.S. constitutional habeas corpus guarantees. Habeas corpus is a tenant of law that was enshrined in the U.S. Constitution in 13th century, according to which the prisoners have right to demand in federal court the legal justification and factual basis for their detention (Doyle, 2007).
Therefore, in case the Court will approve detainees habeas corpus right, it should be then determined whether the prisoners were provided an acceptable alternative to the federal courts. However, the U.S. government considers that the imprisonment and accusation in terrorism were done in terms of wartime exigencies, and, therefore, the detainment was legally justified and the government had factual basis for their detention.
... (6 or more in Circuit Court civil cases and Probate cases, 12 or more in Circuit Court criminal cases), the trial convenes and the ... the jury room to discuss the case. In a Circuit Court criminal or Probate Delinquency case, the defendant must be proven guilty ... beyond reasonable doubt. In Civil cases the evidence ...
At the same time, according to the U.S. administration, the detainees have no habeas corpus guarantees, due to their foreign origin, and due to the fact that they were not imprisoned on American soil. In 2004 Guantanamo Bay detainees were proved to have habeas corpus guarantees according to the statute passed by the U.S. Congress, but the Supreme Court then made conclusion that the law is not applicable to the petitions that were already filed. Under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 Guantanamo Bay habeas corpus cases were also blocked. This case is very interesting, as, in fact, habeas corpus in fundamental to the U.S. Constitution and the U.S.
laws and statute. Therefore, in case the habeas corpus will be denied it may result in changes, or even, a rejection of the rule of law. Another question is whether the detainees can be entitled to the hearings in civilian courts. The case becomes even more complicated as the foreigners were arrested and held outside the U.S. soil, and, therefore they seem to have no constitutional right to file petitions to the U.S. courts for writ of habeas corpus. In case Guantanamo will be considered the U.S.
soil, the detainees’ rights will become stronger. Therefore, the Detainee cases seem to be, probably, the most complicated test of the American justice system. References Doyle, M. (2007, December 2).
Detainee cases head to Supreme Court First argument to be heard Wednesday. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20 071202/NEWS07/712020622/1009/NEWS07.