Hamdan Verdict Is In

by Deborah Pearlstein

Well, the Hamdan verdict is in: guilty on five counts of material support to a terrorist organization, but significantly for cases to come – not guilty on the far broader charge of conspiracy. The Times’ story is here. Sentencing to follow this afternoon.

This is hardly the end of the story. There will certainly be appeals. But it is no doubt a significant milestone: the first trial conviction of any of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. I’ll be back later this afternoon with some more detailed thoughts.

UPDATE: The Hamdan charge sheet is available here. Hamdan was acquitted of both specifications of conspiracy, and on Specifications 1, 3, 4 of the material support charges.


3 Responses

  1. Anyone have copies of the charges/jury-charge/verdict?  I’d like to see exactly what he was convicted of, and on what legal theories.

    How about the briefs on whether “material support” to al Qaeda in the form of personal services was a war crime pre-MCA and, if not, whether that’s an ex post facto problem — anyone have those?


  2. This outcome is much less ‘kangaroo’ than many anticipated. This is despite the apparently-vigorous efforts to design it as a kangaroo court. The members of the military commission certainly seem to have taken their duties seriously, despite pressure for a desired outcome. A government establishes credibility and improves its own political health when its officials do their duty. (Prof. Organ-Failure-or-Death and others likely consider that naive.)

    The conspiracy acquittals were particularly interesting, in that ‘conspiracy’ has become so stretched under modern legal theory that it could seem to easily apply, but the members here rejected it. The ex post facto issue can and should be amply addressed on review.

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