How was McVeigh charged?
What year was that?
“How was McVeigh charged?”
Not as an enemy combatant. Citizens should not be charged as such, it’s a slippery slope. At some point, just anyone the party in power doesn’t like, who commits a large scale, or even small scale crime based on political beliefs, will be charged as an enemy combatant and tortured. I think this is the right move from a Constitutional perspective.
According to Wikipedia,
On August 10, 1995, McVeigh was indicted on 11 federal counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and eight counts of first-degree murder.
On June 2, 1997, McVeigh was found guilty on all 11 counts of the federal indictment.
Count 1 — Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
G U I L T Y
Count 2 — Use of a weapon of mass destruction.
G U I L T Y
Count 3 — Destruction by explosive of government property.
G U I L T Y
Counts 4 -11 — First degree murder for each of eight federal agents killed in the explosion.
G U I L T Y
With a guilty verdict in the first three counts, they then had to answer this question:
“Do you find that the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime or crimes committed by the defendant, Timothy James McVeigh, as found above resulted in the death of one or more of the persons named in the indictment?”
Answering yes, the jurors then had to answer this question:
“Was the death of such person or persons a foreseeable result of the defendant’s criminal conduct?”
On June 13, 1997, the jury recommended that McVeigh receive the death penalty.
The U.S. Department of Justice brought federal charges against McVeigh for causing the deaths of eight federal officers leading to a possible death penalty for McVeigh; they could not bring charges against McVeigh for the remaining 160 murders in federal court because those deaths fell under the jurisdiction of the State of Oklahoma. Because McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to death, the State of Oklahoma did not file murder charges against McVeigh for the other 160 deaths.
As a common criminal.
I understand the visceral desire to see this guy labeled a combatant, but the term “enemy combatant” has a specific legal meaning.
An illegal combatant is not accorded Geneva Convention protections until his or her surrender is accepted. The Geneva Convention specifically allows soldiers to reject the surrender of an illegal combatant (armed and engaging in combat without wearing a uniform and not part of an organized military unit) at which point he could be summarily executed on the battlefield.
Once the surrender of an illegal combatant is accepted he becomes subject to due process of law — either military or
civil, including provisions accorded a regular enemy combatant.
A simple enemy combatant is accorded legal protections. He must be released at the end of the conflict, is not subject to criminal prosecution for battlefield actions consistent with prosecution of a war (killing another soldier in combat) and must be fed, sheltered, and protected.
In exchange for surrender that combatant becomes a prisoner of war, forfeiting combatant priviliges. (One example: an escaping POW who kills or injures someone while escaping can be tried and punished for that.)
These guys should not be dignified with the title of combatant. Technically they are filibusters — the land-going equivalent of pirates. They can be shot out of hand, but once they have surrendered they receive the same rights as any criminal.
Personally, I don't see a dime's worth of difference between these two and any other mass murderer, including Kermit Gossnell. Treat them the same as McVeigh. Give the surviving one a fair trial, convict him, strap him to a gurney and put a needle in his arm.
Works for me because we are a nation of laws, not a place where the king makes the rules.