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Vick pleads

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Michael Vick, whose plea deal was released last Friday, formally plead guilty today before U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond.  He is due back in court December 10 for sentencing.

Washington Post story here.

A new court for Gitmo

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The U.S. Court of Military Commission Review held its first hearing yesterday in a borrowed courtroom a half block from the White House.

Back in June two military judges at Guantanamo ruled that the detainees brought before them could not be tried by the new Military Commissions, created  by Congress and the White House after the Supreme Court rejected the previous Commissions, because they had not been properly declared unlawful enemy combatants. At the time the government filed an appeal there was no court, just a mailing address in Virginia.

Meanwhile all war crime cases at Gitmo are on hold  because none of the more than 550 status review hearings determined that the detainees were “unlawful”.

AP story is here.

Abu Ghraib court-martial

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A military jury heard opening arguments yesterday in the court-martial of the only senior officer to face criminal charges in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan “was the officer in charge … He was
the highest ranking officer on the ground,” prosecutor Colonel John
Tracy told the panel of nine Army colonels and one brigadier general.

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Colonel Thomas Pappas, an intelligence brigade commander who was the highest-ranking officer at Abu Ghraib  -seen here on the witness stand as Lt. Col. Jordan, left, listens- testified that he took over as director of the center because Jordan wasn’t focusing on it enough. Pappas has been reprimanded and fined $8000 for his part in the scandal, but not charged with any crimes.

AP story here.

Padilla guilty on all counts

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Jose Padilla, seated in the middle, and his co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun on the left and Kifah Wael Jayyousi on the right, were found guilty on all counts by a Miami jury in less than twelve hours of deliberation after a three month trial in which hundreds of pages of evidence were introduced.

There was little emotion shown as the verdicts were read by the Judge’s clerk. Jayyousi who had been out on bond hugged the defense lawyers before being taken into custody.  All three face life in prison when they are sentenced in December.

WaPo story here.

Padilla goes to the jury

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The government’s case against Jose Padilla and two co-defendants went to the jury today after closing arguments. Pictured is Padilla, center, and his two public defenders : Anthony Natale and Michael Caruso.