Holder defends terror trials in civilian courts

AP News
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Posted: Jun 16, 2011 9:04 PM
Holder defends terror trials in civilian courts

Attorney General Eric Holder is defending the prosecution of terrorism suspects in civilian court after criticism from the top-ranking Republican in the Senate.

Holder said in a speech Thursday night for the American Constitution Society that politics has no place in deciding how to prosecute criminals, including terrorists.

Holder didn't mention Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name. But the attorney general's comments come two days after McConnell took to the Senate floor and urged Holder's Justice Department to send two Iraqi terrorism suspects to Guantanamo Bay. McConnell said a trial planned in his home state of Kentucky could risk retaliatory attacks against judges, jurors and the broader community.

Holder said there have been hundreds of convictions on terrorism-related charges in civilian courts without one retaliatory attack.