Gitmo Trial Could Pose a Big Dilemma for Obama

Death penalty or move case to US courts?
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 9, 2008 1:49 PM CST
In a courtroom drawing, 9/11 victim family members watch testimony in a pretrial hearing for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others on charges related to the 9/11 attacks.   (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin)
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(Newser) – If the trial of alleged 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed carries over into Barack Obama’s presidency, it would mean a “messy” moral decision for the president-elect: Follow through with a Mohammed death sentence, or overturn it and move the Guantanamo case to US courts, writes Bronwen Maddox in the Times of London. The latter choice would uphold Obama’s attacks on the prison but wouldn't solve the problem of information gained through torture.

Obama had hoped to take a “simple moral stand” in closing Guantanamo, where detainees have been held without trial and evidence has been extracted through torture. But the Mohammed case could complicate matters, Maddox writes. The death sentence, which would fulfill Mohammed’s wish for martyrdom, might be “convenient” for Obama, but it’s “an offense against the principles of a fair trial which he has promised to uphold.”