Prominent Illinois Lawyers Urge State Lawmakers to Permit Gitmo Detainees in Illinois Prisons
Former congressman and federal judge Abner J. Mikva and former Illinois U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Sullivan and Dan K. Webb today sent a letter urging Illinois members of Congress and state officials to support the use of federal and state prisons, including the one in Thomson, Ill., to house Guantanamo detainees before trial and after conviction.
“While we oppose military commissions and preventive detention, and thus also oppose using prison facilities in connection with these purposes, we strongly reject charges that our country’s prisons cannot securely hold terrorism suspects or other dangerous individuals. … We urge the elected officials of Illinois to reject the irresponsible fear-mongering and partisan politics that have bogged down the inevitable, and necessary, closing of Guantanamo.”
The letter, organized by the bipartisan Constitution Project, is part of a broader effort of prominent judges, prosecutors and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to urge the Obama administration to try terror suspects in federal courts and not to adopt a system for future preventive detention.