Should captured terrorists be tried in military or criminal courts?
The issue concerning terrorism takes a special place in our society because a great deal of innocent people have already been killed or seriously injured during the numerous terrorist attacks. Of course, captured terrorists deserve punishment but it is not clear if they should be tried in military or criminal courts. (Hoffman 185)
Some experts consider that “terrorists are criminals and should be tried in civilian court”. It is known that according to the US Constitution, the government should interrogate and prosecute “criminal suspects in its custody under a justice system which should presume innocence until guilt is proven”. Those people who commit terrorists acts are criminals but not warriors. That is why they should be tried in criminal courts. (Romero)
However, in several cases, some terrorist suspects captured on the territory of the United States were moved “from the criminal justice system into military detention as so called “enemy combatants”. Thus, after serious legal investigations, two suspects Jose Pedilla and Ali al-Marri were moved back to the civilian system. They were convicted and imprisoned. (Romero)
The other example is related to the terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and other members of al Qaeda whose attacks led to a great number of victims. It is known that President Bush announces that “those responsible for the attacks are cowardly, vicious murderers”. He also argues that “they are not warriors, they are criminals” and they should be tried in the criminal court. (Frakt)
However, there are a lot of people who consider that some terrorists should be tried in military court. One of them is Osama bin Laden who “committed an act of war” but not just an act of terrorism. He is considered to be the enemy of the United States. That is why he and those terrorists who followed his principles should be tried in military courts. (Try Terrorists in Military Courts)
Another opinion of the experts concerning this issue is based on the fact that if the United States is at war, the President has his right “to bypass the entire civilian justice system and order terrorists tried in secret before a military commission”. In this case, terrorists will be condemned to death by the military court. (Lacovara)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that terrorists are those criminals who deserve severe punishment. I think that captured terrorists should be tried in criminal courts because they violate public order and ruin peaceful life in the country. I agree with the opinion of the experts who consider that if a country is at war, captured terrorists should be tried in the military court. I am sure that those criminals who have committed terrorist acts and killed a lot of civilians who had no opportunity to protect themselves, are not warriors. They are cowards who should be tried in criminal courts, in conformity with the laws of civilian justice system.
September 17, 2014 |Free Essay Sample Papers|Tags: terrorism essay
Terrorism, an issue that plagues our world every minute of everyday. You never know when or where a terrorist organization is going to strike. All groups reasons are different, some for political or religious reasons, others for hatred.
The roots of terrorism are believed to have started in 1007 A.D. Hassan ben Sabbah born in Qom, Iran was an Ishmaili Muslim and opposed all other Muslim groups except for the Ishmaili’s. He is believed to be the father of terrorism. Ben Sabbah’s actions had started a whole new trend, people began to follow his actions and started to form terrorist organizations. Terrorism started back then and its motives and tactics have continued to evolve through the reign of Stalin and Lenin in the Soviet Union and Mao Tse-tung in China. Many people consider what Hitler did in Germany to be terrorism, and when you actually think about it, it makes sense. When you define terrorism most definitions say it is the act of violence and/or intimidation to achieve certain political or religious goals. The definition of a terrorist is a person that employs terror or terrorism as a political weapon. And when you think about that definition that pretty much fits Hitler. He wanted to create a society that fit his personal political agenda. Of course the examples are from world history, but what about in the United States? Do we have terrorism in our own country committed by our citizens? Of course we do, take the Oklahoma City Bombing for example. Timothy McVeigh, out for himself and his own political agenda. The first act of terrorism recorded in the US was in 1622 committed by Indians, when they massacred the people in the settlement of Jamestown. Terrorism is problem everywhere not just the middle east, contrary to what people think.
People think there is such a thing as a “typical terrorist”, but there really is not. I guess it could be said that terrorists are stereotyped in many ways. Many people believe that terrorists in the Middle East are either Muslims or Islamic, which is not true either. Just because a person is of one region of the world it does not mean they are a terrorist. As far as I am concerned it could be a next door neighbor. But to understand what terrorism is you must first understand the causes; the motivation to commit these acts of violence.
First, at the government level states may use terrorism against their own people or other nations for several reason. One states may wish to force their message of ideology, politics, or religion upon people or other nations. Second states may use terrorism to eliminate dissent among the population. Third governments may resort to terrorism to eliminate normal political systems or because of fear of another system developing and being embraced by citizens. Fourth, the government may use terror to harass, control, or eliminate political, religious, or radical minorities. Fifth, the government may be in constant conflict with external enemies. Sixth, the government may be in business purely for itself and for what it can get without regard to the welfare of its citizens(Mullins 90).
Then there is the reasoning behind individual terrorism. An individual terrorist’s act is very different from that of a group or how a government would use terrorism. Although the ideology and motivation is the same; to invoke a violent act to achieve some political ends, how it is wanted by the individual. Some reasons for an individual committing terrorist acts are: First, minorities that are economically or politically repressed with poor job opportunities are prone to terrorism. Second, rising employment and inflation can result in people turning to terrorism in and attempt to force improvements in economic and workforce conditioned.
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