US will not seek death penalty against any charged Gitmo detainees

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] said Wednesday that it will not seek the death penalty in the cases of any of the five newly charged Guantanamo Bay detainees or the four previously charged, including David Hicks and Salim Ahmed Hamdan [charge sheets, PDF]. The Pentagon had previously indicated that it would not seek the death penalty against Canadian teenager Omar Ahmed Khadr [JURIST report]. The Defense Department did not say why it would not seek the death penalty in any of the cases, although the decision was based on recommendations by military prosecutors and was made final by John Altenburg [official profile, PDF], who is overseeing the military commissions [JURIST news archive]. All five of those most recently charged face allegations of attempted murder [JURIST report], while Khadr is also charged with the murder of a US soldier. The trial of David Hicks is scheduled to begin Nov. 18 [JURIST report] unless it is stayed due to a challenge to the military commissions pending before the US Supreme Court [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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