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Terrorism

Judge Says Street Gangs More Deadly than Some Gitmo Detainees

Posted Dec 17, 2009 10:47 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal judge speaking today at an ABA breakfast said he’s not worried about the court system’s ability to handle the trial of Guantanamo detainees.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, the chief federal judge in Washington, D.C., said street gangs are “more murderous” than some Guantanamo detainees, the Associated Press reports. He commented as he spoke about Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try some detainees in U.S. courts.

Lamberth said he doesn’t want to get into a debate about the best forum for detainee trials, but he thinks federal courts are secure enough to handle the job.

From 1995 to 2002, Lamberth served as presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which secretly reviews wiretap applications in terrorism and espionage cases. In a 2007 speech, he criticized President Bush’s decision to allow surveillance in some cases without court approval.

Additional coverage:

National Law Journal: "Judge Says D.C. Could Still See Terror Trials"

Updated at 1:40 p.m. to include National Law Journal story.

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