“From Milligan to Gitmo”
Date posted: August 15, 2013
“From Milligan to Gitmo” will be a presentation on the constitutional right to a jury trial.
Milligan was one of the first U.S. Supreme Court cases after the end of the Civil War. Lambdin P. Milligan, a lawyer, and four others were accused of planning to steal Union weapons and invade Union prisoner-of-war camps. Once the first prisoner of war camp was liberated, the men planned to use the liberated soldiers to help fight against the Government of Indiana and free other camps of Confederate soldiers. Milligan was convicted by a military tribunal and sentenced to hang. He appealed his conviction, and the U.S. Supreme Court said that military tribunals could not try citizens when civilian courts were still operating. The Milligan decision stands for citizens having the right to a jury trial and the case has become pivotal as the U.S. government decides what to do with the prisoners from the war on terror who are being held at Guantanamo Bay. Do we try them in military tribunals or in the federal court?
The Hon. Steven David
Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court
The Hon. Roger Cosbey
U.S. Magistrate Judge