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Copyright (c) 2010 University of Southern California
Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice

ARTICLE: REPEAL OF THE MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT

Spring, 2010

Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice

19 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Social Justice 265

Author

Daniel H. Benson* & Calvin Lewis**

Excerpt



I. INTRODUCTION
 
The Military Commissions Act 1 should be repealed. It was an unfortunate and unnecessary anachronism in 2006, when it was enacted as a means of allowing the United States government to try by military commissions persons detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although the Military Commissions Act of 2009 improved upon the prior version, those improvements are inadequate to remedy the fundamental flaws of the military commissions system that continue to disfigure our system of justice. The Military Commissions Act of 2009 serves no useful purpose at this time and should be removed, in its entirety, from the United States Code.

The existing court-martial system under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 2 is adequate to try any remaining cases against the detainees at Guantanamo. 3 Using the UCMJ would better ensure justice and would also eliminate the extensive delays that arose from constitutional challenges to the military commission system in federal courts.

In 2002, as a part of the war on terrorism, the United States began holding persons in custody at Guantanamo Bay, 4 designating them as "unlawful enemy combatants." 5 The government is now in the process of reevaluating the situation at Guantanamo. 6 A Brookings Institution study reported that on December 16, 2008, the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay held 248 detainees - "only a fraction of the 779 detainees who have passed through the facility since it opened in 2002." 7 A January 22, 2009, Congressional Research Service report to ...
 
 
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