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Michigan town residents oppose Guantanamo detainees in local prison

[JURIST] Residents of Standish, Michigan, held a town meeting Thursday to protest the possible transfer of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees to the state prison in the town. The town meeting was organized by local citizens and centered around a panel featuring speakers [AP report], including the sister of a pilot who was killed on 9/11 [JURIST news archive]. While a few citizens expressed fear of detainees escaping, most are frightened of the reputation their town would gain as the home of such prisoners and the possibility that Standish would become a target for terrorist attacks. The town hall meeting took place a week after governmental officials visited the Standish state prison [JURIST report], which is scheduled to be closed [Lansing State Journal report], to determine whether it would be suitable for holding the several hundred Guantanamo detainees who are unable to be freed after the closing of the prison in 2010.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced its intent to transfer six detainees [JURIST report] overseas. The administration is also exploring other options in addition to the Michigan prison for detainees who cannot be sent overseas, including a detention facility in Kansas [JURIST report]. Last week, federal officials said that terrorism trials for some inmates could be held at a new high-security courthouse in Newport News, VA [Washington Post report] if the Obama administration sends cases to federal courts [JURIST report].

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