Federal Court vs. Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay: A Trial Lawyer's Perspective

September 24, 2008Duke Law News

Tom Durkin and Ed MacMahon, seasoned trial lawyers, will speak about the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, describe how they differ from Federal Court proceedings and examine the issues raised when dealing with classified evidence in such proceedings.

Thomas Anthony Durkin has been practicing criminal law in Chicago for almost thirty-five years and has a wealth of experience defending clients in complex cases, including cases involving classified evidence and allegations related to terrorism. Mr. Durkin represents Ramzi bin al-Shibh and is lead counsel for two men currently imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Walid Mohammad Haj Mohammad Ali and Abdul Raham Houari. He presently serves on the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer (NACDL)'s Select Committee on Military Tribunals and Terrorism.

Edward MacMahon has been practicing criminal law since 1986, and has represented numerous clients charged with offenses related to national security as well as clients facing the death penalty. Mr. MacMahon represented Zacarias Moussaoui, who was charged with crimes related to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Although the government sought the death penalty in that case, a jury ultimately elected to spare his life. According to the government, the Moussaoui case involved the largest quantity of classified evidence ever produced in a criminal case requiring dozens of hearings to address the use and admissibility of that evidence.

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