April 7, 2011
STATEMENT ON MILITARY TRIALS FOR GUANTANAMO DETAINEES
New York State Bar Association President Stephen P. Younger
"The New York State Bar Association believes that the federal government made a serious mistake in its decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in a military tribunal.
"The federal courts represent one of our nation's greatest strengths by granting trials pursuant to the rule of law to all criminal defendants, regardless of how unpopular they may be.
"In December, the trial of Admed Ghailani in federal court in New York City displayed to the world the strength of our judicial system. Regrettably, later that month, Congress barred the use of federal funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees to the United States for trial--and the Obama Administration believed that it was left with no option.
"In June 2008, the State Bar Association's House of Delegates passed a resolution calling for fair treatment of "enemy combatants". The American Bar Association-at the instigation of the State Bar Association--approved a similar measure in 2009."