Essay on terrorism
Should captured terrorists be tried in military or criminal courts?
The issue concerning terrorism takes a special place in our society because a great deal of innocent people have already been killed or seriously injured during the numerous terrorist attacks. Of course, captured terrorists deserve punishment but it is not clear if they should be tried in military or criminal courts. (Hoffman 185)
Some experts consider that “terrorists are criminals and should be tried in civilian court”. It is known that according to the US Constitution, the government should interrogate and prosecute “criminal suspects in its custody under a justice system which should presume innocence until guilt is proven”. Those people who commit terrorists acts are criminals but not warriors. That is why they should be tried in criminal courts. (Romero)
However, in several cases, some terrorist suspects captured on the territory of the United States were moved “from the criminal justice system into military detention as so called “enemy combatants”. Thus, after serious legal investigations, two suspects Jose Pedilla and Ali al-Marri were moved back to the civilian system. They were convicted and imprisoned. (Romero)
The other example is related to the terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and other members of al Qaeda whose attacks led to a great number of victims. It is known that President Bush announces that “those responsible for the attacks are cowardly, vicious murderers”. He also argues that “they are not warriors, they are criminals” and they should be tried in the criminal court. (Frakt)
However, there are a lot of people who consider that some terrorists should be tried in military court. One of them is Osama bin Laden who “committed an act of war” but not just an act of terrorism. He is considered to be the enemy of the United States. That is why he and those terrorists who followed his principles should be tried in military courts. (Try Terrorists in Military Courts)
Another opinion of the experts concerning this issue is based on the fact that if the United States is at war, the President has his right “to bypass the entire civilian justice system and order terrorists tried in secret before a military commission”. In this case, terrorists will be condemned to death by the military court. (Lacovara)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that terrorists are those criminals who deserve severe punishment. I think that captured terrorists should be tried in criminal courts because they violate public order and ruin peaceful life in the country. I agree with the opinion of the experts who consider that if a country is at war, captured terrorists should be tried in the military court. I am sure that those criminals who have committed terrorist acts and killed a lot of civilians who had no opportunity to protect themselves, are not warriors. They are cowards who should be tried in criminal courts, in conformity with the laws of civilian justice system.