GovTrack’s Bill Summary
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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/14/2006--Reported to Senate without amendment. (This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.) Military Commissions Act of 2006 -
Authorizes the President to establish military commissions (commissions) for the trial of alien unlawful enemy combatants (combatants) engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses specifically made triable by commissions under this Act. Allows commissions to impose upon any person found guilty any sentence appropriate to the offense, including death or imprisonment for life. Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to carry out such sentences. Requires an annual report from the Secretary to the congressional defense committees on any trials conducted.
Amends the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to codify and establish procedures governing the use of commissions to try such combatants for violations of triable offenses. Prohibits the findings, holdings, and other precedents of commissions from being introduced or considered in any proceeding of a court-martial convened under the UCMJ. Makes eligible to serve on a commission any U.S. commissioned officer on active duty. Requires to be detailed to each commission a military judge, trial and military defense counsel, and reporters and interpreters. Requires at least five members in each commission. Prescribes commission pre-trial procedures, including charges and specifications. Prohibits a person from being required to testify against himself (compulsory self-incrimination) at a commission proceeding. Allows the admission of a statement obtained by alleged coercion not amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment only if the commission military judge finds that: (1) the totality of the circumstances under which the statement was made render it reliable and possessing sufficient probative value; and (2) the interests of justice would best be served by its admission. Prescribes commission trial procedures, including: (1) rules of evidence; (2) duties of trial and defense counsel; (3) pleas of the accused; (4) opportunity to obtain witnesses and other evidence; (5) the defense of lack of mental responsibility; and (6) the record of trial. Requires: (1) a two-thirds commission member vote for conviction; (2) a three-fourths member vote for a sentence of life imprisonment or confinement of more than ten years; and (3) a unanimous vote by at least 12 members in a case in which the death penalty is sought. Prohibits any sentence from including cruel or unusual punishments such as flogging, branding, or marking or tattooing of the body. Prescribes commission post-trial procedures, including: (1) review by the convening authority; (2) appeal by the United States; (3) rehearings; (4) review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the U.S. Supreme Court; and (5) the execution of sentences. Makes the following offenses triable by commissions: (1) conspiracy; (2) solicitation; (3) murder of protected persons; (4) attacking civilians; (5) attacking civilian objects; (6) attacking protected property; (7) pillaging; (8) denying quarter; (9) taking hostages; (10) employing poison or similar weapons; (11) using protected persons as a shield; (12) using protected property as a shield; (13) torture; (14) cruel, unusual, or inhumane treatment or punishment; (15) intentionally causing serious bodily injury; (16) mutilating or maiming; (17) murder in violation of the law of war; (18) destruction of property in violation of the law of war; (19) using treachery or perfidy; (20) improperly using a flag of truce; (21) improperly using a distinctive emblem; (22) intentionally mistreating a dead body; (23) rape; (24) hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft; (25) terrorism; (26) providing material support for terrorism; (27) wrongfully aiding the enemy; (28) spying; (29) contempt; and (30) perjury and obstruction of justice.
Makes conforming amendments under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the UCMJ.
Amends federal criminal justice provisions to deny any court or judge jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of, or to hear or consider any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention, treatment, or trial of, an alien detained outside the United States who: (1) is currently in U.S. custody; or (2) has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant.
Prohibits a person from invoking the Geneva Conventions in any civil action against a U.S. officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent, or against the United States, in any claim for damages for death, injury, or damage to property in any court of the United States or its states or territories.
Amends the federal criminal code to include the following as violations of the War Crimes Act: (1) torture; (2) cruel, unusual, or inhumane treatment or punishment; (3) performing biological experiments; (4) murder; (5) mutilation or maiming; (6) intentionally causing serious bodily injury; (7) rape; (8) sexual assault or abuse; and (9) taking hostages.
Amends the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to include all persons detained by the United States (currently, only those detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) under the authority for the review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia of decisions of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal that an alien is properly detained as an enemy combatant.
House Republican Conference Summary
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
No summary available.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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