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News Link • Criminal Justice System

New War Court Manual Leaves Questions

• Miami Herald
The long awaited new rule book for the Obama-era war court does not resolve a key issue that bedeviled its predecessor: Whether an accused war criminal can plead guilty to a crime carrying the death penalty directly to a judge rather than to a military jury.
 
But the 289-page manual does appear to strip war court judges of the authority to grant credit for time in U.S. military custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo -- a power that had stoked controversy in the Bush era trial of Salim Hamdan of Yemen. Hamdan was convicted of providing material support for terror by working as Osama bin Laden's driver and sometime bodyguard.

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