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October 25, 2010

"Youngest Guantanamo detainee pleads guilty"

The title of this post is the headline of this CNN report, which raises a lot of interesting issues about plea and sentencing procedures and outcomes in a very high-profile setting.  Here is are excerpts:

Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to charges against him Monday, the Pentagon said, in the first military commission trial there since Barack Obama became president.   Khadr, 24, was accused of throwing a grenade during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, a Special Forces medic.

Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay, was 15 at the time.  He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.  He pleaded guilty to murder in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, two counts of providing material support for terrorism and spying in the United States, a Canadian diplomat said.

Canada -- where Khadr was born -- has been closely involved in negotiations with the United States over his plea.  Discussions have included the possibility that he could serve part of his sentence in Canada, sources said last week.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said he expects the sentencing phase of Khadr's trial to start Tuesday, adding that it probably will finish this week.  Details of the plea agreement are not made public, Lapan said, because the seven military officers on the jury "get the case without any knowledge of the pretrial agreement.  They will issue a sentence for the record, and after that -- if the judge allows it -- the pretrial agreement can be revealed."

If the jury's sentence is different from the plea agreement, the shorter sentence will be imposed, Lapan said.

The military court in August viewed a 30-minute video that the government said shows Khadr helping assemble and plant roadside bombs targeting American troops in Afghanistan....  One of Khadr's Canadian attorneys indicated last week that he was open to a plea deal. "He is anxious to avoid a trial before that kangaroo court," Nate Whitling said in reference to the U.S. military commission at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility....

One source close to the negotiations said, "Khadr will have to decide" whether to sign onto a tentative deal negotiated by prosecution and defense lawyers. That arrangement calls for Khadr to be sentenced to eight years -- one year to be served in U.S. custody and seven years in Canadian custody.

October 25, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

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Comments

now for a silly question. he's looking at 7 years with this plea? so do the 8 years he's been ilegally imprisoned by the us govt count? if so i guess that means TIME SERVED! and they will OWE HIM for 1 year LOL

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 25, 2010 1:51:18 PM

These all information which you can share is really very great. It can included the possibility that he could serve part of his sentence in Canada, sources said last week.

Posted by: Canada Drugs | Oct 26, 2010 3:43:34 AM

one year in U.S. custody? oh come on. He has been in U.S. custody long enough. This should be in the dictionary under "CYA."

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