After 9/11 many people, American or not, were detained secrectly and without access to counsel. How can we hope to protect the rights of the accused
in an age of terrorism?
As Americans we must have great faith in our justice system. That one principle has helped to hold our country together for over two centuries. One of
the major cornerstones of out justice system is that everyone
is innocent until proven guilty. We all have the right to due process of law, as
established in the 5th Amendment.
Since 9/11/2001 many US and non-US citizens have been apprehended without even having their charges read to them. One major problem with the current
state of the US Justice System is that we have no way of knowing how many people currently have been apprehended in this manner. If there was a
Hitler-like individual in office, he or she could easily abuse the current state of US domestic affairs and raid people's houses without a reason
other than that they were "suspected terrorists".
Here is what the Libertarian party hopes to do to stop current abuses of power and stop a police state from rising out of our current justice system.
First, they push for immediate classification of all war on terror detainees. Whether they are "enemy combatants" or not, we all need to know
exactly where they came from and what their charges are.
Second, once classified, all that are charged with crimes will have access to counsel, a public
trial by jury, and a manner to present a
defense while having their charges mounted against them.
Third, all those classified prisoners of war that have not committed crimes, if the current state of hostilities allows, will be held and treated with
the conditions required by the Geneva Convention until they can be returned to their home countries.
Finally, detainees that are found to be improperly imprisoned and have not committed a crime or are prisoners of war will immediately be released.
If we do not stop this abuse of the rights of the accused now, it can quickly spread to the general system of justice that the average American deals
You can argue that since those detained that are not US citizens have no rights under our law and constitution. If we truly believe that our system of
government is the best in the world, which we apparently do because we are trying to give it to Iraq, then we should want to show the world that we
aren't afraid to use it. We have much to gain by showing respect for the men and women we have detained with no respect to our law. We restore faith
in our laws and show the world that our system works. If those detained are truly guilty, what do we have to lose?
[edit on 8/10/2004 by lockheed]