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The Pentagon has charged six Guant�namo detainees with murder, conspiracy and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Prosecutors are seeking the death sentence for each of the men, which include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, the Pentagon announced in a statement today. The other detainees facing charges — in the as-yet untested military commission — are Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin �Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, and Mohamed al Kahtani. The Wall Street Journal has more details here. It could be months or more before a trial begins at the tent city, and it’s unclear how a death sentence would be carried out. The New York Times yesterday had a story on some of the legal and practical challenges facing prosecutors. For instance, there is no death chamber at the detention camp at the naval base. Military justice regulations provide for execution by lethal injection, but the commissions fall outside that system. Under the rules of the commissions, military prosecutors can designate charges as capital when they present them, a phase of the process expected to take place this week. Then there are questions of whether the military judges will admit evidence obtained by interrogators’ coercive tactics and whether they will require “experienced death-penalty lawyers” to work the cases. It’s also unclear how much of the trial will be public and how much will unfold in secret, on national security grounds. In any event, officials tell the Times, it’s doubtful that President Bush will be in office to see the trial’s conclusion.
Joe Palazzolo can be contacted at [email protected]. This story originally appeared on The Blog of Legal Times.

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