The Case Against a Special Terrorism Court

Terrorist suspects should be prosecuted in the federal criminal courts. The federal criminal justice system has a proven track record of success in international terrorism cases: More than 100 terrorism cases have been prosecuted in the federal courts since September 11, 2001. The federal criminal justice system is capable of handling complex terrorism cases without compromising national security or sacrificing standards of fairness and due process: Based on the public record, none of the international terrorism cases brought since September 11, 2001 has been dismissed on grounds related to classified information, and there have been no important security breaches in any terrorism cases in which the Classified Information Procedures Act has been invoked. Criminal prosecutions often assist rather than inhibit intelligence gathering: Historically, criminal prosecutions have assisted intelligence gathering. Defendants have the incentive to cooperate with government prosecutors and interrogators because successful cooperation may result in shorter prison sentences.


Published on March 8, 2009


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