Judge in Ressam Case: Our System Worked

We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. I would suggest that the message to the world from today’s sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment  to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. Despite the fact that Mr. Ressam is not an American citizen and despite the fact that he entered this country intent upon killing American citizens, he received an effective, vigorous defense, and the opportunity to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of 12 ordinary citizens. Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.