I wish everyone would pay attention to this judge. Human Rights, including the right to a free and open trial are the cornerstones of any decent civilization.

The transcript of U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour's comments during Wednesday's sentencing hearing for Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber

Some of my favourite points:

Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.

Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.


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11 August 2005