January 28, 2010

Change Of Venue

So the word on the street is that the White House is looking for somewhere to have the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed other than lower Manhattan.  I think that's fine.

The Constitution requires that the trial take place in the same district that the crime took place.  So anywhere in the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia, or the Western District of Pennsylvania will satisfy the Venue Clause.  A good argument can be made that since the intended target of United Flight 11 was either the White House or the Capitol, the District Court for the District of Columbia would also be satisfactory.  Further, one could argue that since two of the flights originated in Boston, the District of Massachusetts would work too.

2 comments:

Arnie said...

I don't think it makes any difference where the trial is held. Since the result is inevitable, it is a show trial. It will be touted by us as a demonstration of our legal system, and decried by the Islamic extremists as a charade. Let's save some money and just execute him and put him in an unmarked grave. No publicity ever again.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

The right result is a meaningful trial -- which means that we must risk having to set him free. If we do not have enough confidence in our evidence to try him and obtain a fair and legitimate conviction, we have no business holding him in the first place.

But a summary execution would be, if anything, even more damaging to our recently-rehabilitated world image than the upcoming show trial will be.