Our Opinion: Fair trials

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may die of old age before ever being convicted of the horrific crime he masterminded nearly 17 years ago.

Mohammed, captured in 2003, is accused of being the key planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America.

Yet, though Mohammed, 53, has been in U.S. custody for many years, he has not come to trial on the multitude of charges against him. He remains imprisoned at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Various explanations have been offered for the delay in putting Mohammed on trial. According to some analysts, the decision during former President Barack Obama’s administration to try Mohammed before a military tribunal rather than in a civilian court is to blame. That opened a whole new set of legal maneuvers to Mohammed’s lawyers.

Among the delaying tactics being used are questions by Mohammed’s lawyers about whether he was tortured after being apprehended.

We Americans have a long, proud tradition of insisting on fair trials, even for those accused of heinous crimes. Surely there is a way to ensure that for Mohammed and still bring him to trial reasonably soon. There were, after all, no legal maneuvers available to the nearly 3,000 people who died on 9/11.

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