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Week 4 – Assignment

The Secret Trial

[WLOs: 2, 3] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Prior to beginning your written assignment read the Criminal Procedure (Links to an external site.) article, Right to a Speedy and Public Trial – Public Trial (Links to an external site.) article, the Right to Confront Witness (Links to an external site.) article, Right to Counsel (Links to an external site.) article and review the Supreme Court Opinions synopses.

Read the following case scenario:

In the ongoing war on terrorism, the new president has proposed expanding the jurisdiction of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). FISA is a U.S. federal court established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law. The new president’s proposed Secret Terrorism Trial Bill will expand the jurisdiction of the FISA to hold secret, non-public trials of accused terrorists for any planned or actual acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. The bill will also allow witnesses to testify before the FISA Court by remote video with their identities kept secret from the accused and any defense team. The stated purpose for the secrecy is to allow trials of terrorists without giving them a public platform for their radical ideology and to allow witnesses to testify without fear of reprisals from terrorist groups such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

Write a paper addressing the following:

  • Explain whether the proposed Secret Terrorism Trial Bill violates the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial,
  • Describe whether the proposed Secret Terrorism Trial Bill violate the Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against you.
  • Explain whether the government’s overriding need to fight terrorism outweighs the Sixth Amendment rights of the accused.
  • Identify whether the Sixth Amendment applies to terrorists since the writers of the Constitution could not have envisioned mass shootings and suicide bombers.

The Secret Trial paper

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