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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

High Court Rejects Case of Young Gitmo Prisoner

(CN) - Another Guantanamo prisoner failed Monday to entice the Supreme Court to rehear his case.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15. Facing five terror-related charges before a U.S. military commission, he pleaded guilty in October 2010 to a deal that caps his sentence at eight years and reportedly could send him back to Canada this year.

Khadr admitted to conspiring with al-Qaida and killing U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer with a grenade during a battle near Khost, Afghanistan in 2002.

This case reportedly made the United States the first nation since World War II to prosecute someone before a war crimes tribunal for acts he allegedly committed as a minor.

A majority of justices declined to grant Khadr's petition on Monday, but Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor indicated that they wanted to review the case. Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the court's consideration or decision of the case.

Kagan also recused herself from two of the four petitions from Guantanamo detainees that the Supreme Court rejected last month. Monday's contribution affirms the appearance that the court will defer to the mostly conservative D.C. Circuit on Guantanamo detention matters.

The justices have not decided a detainee case in nearly three years with the June 2008 opinions in Boumediene v. Bush, concerning a Guantanamo Bay detainee, and Munaf v. Geren, which is related to an inmate of the military operations zone in Iraq. Boumedine afforded detainees the basic right to seek habeas relief.

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