First Military Commission Conviction Reversed
February 18, 2015, Washington D.C. – Today, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) vacated former Guantánamo prisoner David Hicks’s conviction in the military commissions for providing material support for terrorism. Hicks was the first prisoner to be convicted in a Guantánamo military commission and a party to CCR’s historic Supreme Court victory in Rasul v. Bush, which established that Guantánamo prisoners have a right to access U.S. courts to challenge their detention. Today’s ruling comes in the wake of an en banc decision by the D.C. Circuit, Al Bahlul v. United States, which held that material support for terrorism is not an offense triable by military commission.
“We are very happy for David. Today’s decision is a powerful reminder that he committed no crime, he is innocent of any offense,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Wells Dixon. “David Hicks can now be truly free of Guantánamo.”
Hicks pled guilty to providing material support for terrorism in 2007 because he was tortured and desperate to be free from Guantánamo. His torture is detailed in a 74-page affidavit released in 2012.
The case is Hicks v. United States. Co-counsel are Joseph Margulies and military defense counsel Samuel Morison and Major Justin Swick. David Hicks is represented in Australia by Stephen Kenny.
CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for nearly 12 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts. In addition, CCR has been working through diplomatic channels to resettle men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.