Monday, August 16, 2010

US Government Lost 8 of 15 Gitmo Cases Involving Forced Interrogation

By Jeralyn, Posted on Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 08:33:00 AM EST

Pro Publica Reporter Chisun Lee has the results of a Pro Publica study
here into the decisions of federal judges in habeas cases filed by Guantanamo Detainees involving the admission of evidence obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques. The results: Out of the 31 cases with published decisions, the Government lost 8 of the 15 cases in which there were claimed forcible interrogations.

The 15 decisions offer the most detailed accounting to date of how information obtained from the Guantanamo inmates through controversial tactics is standing up in court. They come in cases initiated by detainees seeking release via a writ of habeas corpus, not cherry-picked by prosecutors. Criminal law experts say the judges' opinions help explain why the government has decided not to pursue criminal convictions against some detainees. Such evidence would pose even greater problems in criminal trials, for which requirements of proof are more demanding.

Here's a chart of the cases and rulings. More than 50 prisoner cases are still pending. [More...]

Pro Publica also has this master database of the 53 cases, with links to documents and information about the detainees. Click here

Thirty-eight of the men were found to be eligible for release, but one man’s victory was reversed when the government appealed.

Sixteen detainees have lost their cases. Of the 37 men now judged to be unlawfully imprisoned, 13 remain in indefinite detention, in some cases while the government appeals the rulings. (Their names are in red.)

Why this is an continuing problem: The detainees in many of these cases may never be charged but still be subject to indefinite detention.

The Obama administration has already said that at least 48 of the remaining 176 prisoners at Guantanamo will be held indefinitely because they're too dangerous to release but can't be prosecuted successfully in military or civilian court. They've said that coercion-tainted evidence is one obstacle.

Really impressive work by Pro Publica. For those of you not familiar with Pro Publica, it is a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization publishing investigative journalism. Their work has been featured by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, among others. This article by Chisum Lee is also being featured in the National Law Journal.

I've been reading and blogging about articles written by Chisun Lee since 2003 when she wrote for the Village Voice. Some examples:

* Flashback: A Lifetime in Limbo on Jose Padilla

* Exposé Energizes Court Battle (Ashcroft Could Face Reckoning on Detainee Mistreatment)

* Ashcroft's New Ally (Senator Schumer Pushes to Make Covert Surveillance Easier)

See Original here

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