US May Execute 9/11 Detainees Without Trials
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2009 8:10 PM CDT
The five Sept. 11, 2001 attack co-defendants sit during a hearing at the U.S. Military Commissions court for war crimes, at the U.S. Naval Base, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration may let accused 9/11 terrorists at Guantanamo Bay plead guilty and be executed without facing trial, the New York Times reports. A proposed change in military law, which governs Guantanamo tribunals, would give the alleged attackers what they seek—martyrdom—and avoid trials that could reveal harsh US interrogation techniques. It would also avoid charging the accused in federal court.

The five 9/11 detainees said last December that they wanted to plead guilty, but defense lawyers argued that military law should be followed, forbidding guilty pleas in capital cases. A military judge is still mulling it over. But critics of the proposed legislation, which is circulating privately among officials, are already speaking out: “They’re encouraging martyrdom," said a lawyer for a 9/11 detainee.