Constitutional Law

Defense Lawyers Give Terror Effort a D+

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In an article that has sparked lively debate on the Internet, the ABA Journal discusses the results of a poll of 50 defense lawyers about the legal system’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Their answers weren’t confidence-inspiring. Although the defense lawyers felt that the judicial branch has done a far better job than the executive branch and more than half said the U.S. Supreme Court has gotten it right when deciding terrorism cases, 94 percent said the so-called war on terror has unduly compromised privacy rights, the ABA Journal article reports.

Only 30 percent say terror prosecutions since Sept. 11, 2001 have made the country safer, and only 14 percent say new laws enacted by Congress have made the country safer, reports a Chicago Tribune blog post about the article. Overall, the 50 defense lawyers—who have been working on terrorism cases since Sept. 11, 2001—gave a D-plus grade to the legal system’s response.

The article also offers readers a chance to participate. (Justice Department attorneys were also given a chance to participate, but were instructed not to do so by superiors.)

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