UT law forum to examine where, how U.S. should try terrorists

February 16, 2010 | Events, UToday
By Staff

The University of Toledo College of Law and its Law Review will host a daylong symposium exploring the question of where and how to try accused terrorists Friday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Law Center Auditorium.

The issue has been prominent in public debate since the Obama administration announced that alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would be tried in a New York federal court.

Federal judges from Florida to Michigan, attorneys from the Department of Justice and the United States Navy, criminal defense attorneys, legal academics, and the former interim general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency will discuss “The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Back to the Future or the Fix for a Flawed System?”

“This symposium could not be more timely or more important,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Law. “With some detainees scheduled to be tried in civilian courts, others due to be judged before newly modified military commissions, and recently announced threats of more attacks, it is imperative that we arrive at the best possible approach to determining the guilt or innocence of those accused of plotting attacks on this country and its citizens.”

Speakers will address the legal and practical consequences of recent revisions to the Military Commissions Act, and what they mean in light of the recent decision and public backlash to try several high-profile terror suspects in federal courts and others by military commission.

“These are some of the best legal minds in the country, many of whom have years of in-depth experience with the issues of terrorism and the American criminal justice system,” Steinbock said. “The path ultimately taken by national leaders is likely to be one highlighted during our discussions.”

The Toledo Law Review is sponsoring the free, public event.

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