Annenberg Classroom – Habeas Corpus: The Guantanamo Cases
Inside Guantanamo – Lesley Stahl gets unprecedented access to the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility where the accused 9/11 terrorist will face trial.
Habeas Corpus is a writ used to determine if the detention of prisoner is valid. Labeling someone as an enemy combatant and detaining that person in Guantanamo Bay after 9/11, was designed to prevent prisoners captured after the war on terror was declared, from seeking Habeas Corpus relief. The video covers four major cases (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Boumediene v. Bush) in which the Court decided the balance between presidential power during a time of war and the protection of civil liberties.
Watch the video from the Annenberg project and then read the article “Inside Guantanamo” from 2013, after the Court decided that Gitmo Detainees must have constitutional protections, including a trial.
1. Some of the detainees captured and held at Guantanamo Bay were tortured and confessions were obtained. Should confessions obtained via torture be excluded from trials involving terrorism?
2. Read about the use of “clean teams” in the 60 Minutes article. Do you believe it is possible to obtain uncoerced confessions by the U.S. Government “clean team” from someone who had previously been tortured by the U.S. government in the past? Why or why not?
3. Do you believe there are times when certain legal protections of individual rights should be suspended? Explain.
4. What was the purpose of the hockey light in the courtroom at GITMO?
5. Do you think convictions obtained under these circumstances are valid? Is there another alternative?