The ACLU Plans a Series of Events to Highlight the Importance of Habeus Corpus06/21/07 Robert Lorei
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Becky Steele, the director of the West Central Florida office of the ACLU, joined us to talk about the upcoming "Find Habeas" event at Lykes Park next Tuesday in Tampa. It's designed to highlight what the group says is an infringement on a Western tradition that goes back to the Magna Carta.
From the ACLU web site: "The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) gives the president absolute power to decide who is an enemy of our country, to imprison some people indefinitely without charging them with a crime, and to define what is â€” and what is not â€” torture and abuse.
Just before the 2006 elections, Congress passed and the President signed the Military Commissions Act (MCA). Under the Military Commissions Act, the U.S. government can now:
Imprison some people indefinitely without charge or legal justification
Deny detainees any court review of their imprisonment
Hand down convictions based on evidence literally beaten out of witnesses
Redefine torture and abuse as they see fit, without regard for the Geneva Conventions or any other human rights law
The MCA was sparked by the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the original military commission system established by President Bush to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay was unfair and illegal. It ratifies key parts of the illegal commissions, reversing in part the Supreme Court decision."
Steele also described the status of the ACLU's lawsuit on behalf of Sarasota citizens who claim a problem with election equipment and staff during last November's elections.