Whitney Coffin

Hoosiers play integral roles in historic military commissions

gitmo-coin-15col - 4 June 2014

Indiana Justice Steven David holds a challenge coin he helped design while working at Guantanamo Bay as chief defense counsel. (IL Photo/ Marilyn Odendahl)

[This article is by Marilyn Odendahl and originally appeared on 4 June 2914 in The Indiana Lawyer at this link)]

The words Indianapolis attorney Richard Kammen used to describe the trials taking place at Guantanamo Bay are jarring – “legally grotesque situation,” “huge stain on American justice,” “secret expedient rigged justice.”

Then he noted the situation of alleged terrorists being put on trial for acts of terrorism and murder is not black and white. There is (more…)

IU McKinney students observe trial proceedings at Guantanamo Bay

The USS Cole after it was attacked by suicide bombers in October 2000 in Yemen. (Photo courtesy of United States Marine Corps)

The USS Cole after it was attacked by suicide bombers in October 2000 in Yemen. (Photo courtesy of United States Marine Corps)

(This article by Marilyn Odendahl was originally published on 4 June 2014 in The Indiana Lawyer at this link) Sitting in a hotel room, preparing to watch a video cast of a hearing with Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, one of the alleged masterminds behind the bombing of the USS Cole, Whitney Coffin considered the process of using military commissions to try suspected terrorists. “Before I actually see the hearing, my pre-impression is this is the best way to do it,” Coffin, a 2014 graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, said. “Some push to put this in federal courts, but what state is (more…)

Detour from USS Cole – Official Tour of Ft. Meade – Kristi McMains – 29 May 2014

What to do at Ft. Meade when Observers are barred from hearings?

The Judge in the al Nashiri case determined that hearings for the remainder of the week were to be classified. NGO Observers, like those of us representing the IU McKinney Military Commission Observation Project,  are not permitted to monitor classified hearings.

After receiving word that the hearings were done for the week for us, I scrambled to catch a flight back to Indianapolis on Thursday (what would have been the second day of hearings for this week). I was hopeful that my (more…)