Author Information

Michaela Clark


On January twenty-second, 2009, newly elected President Barack Obama issued an executive order requiring the detention center holding alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to be closed within one year. This proposal may potentially close a chapter on one of America’s most controversial efforts to combat terrorism. Throughout the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” numerous laws were passed that gave the President and the Department of Defense power to determine who was an enemy combatant and detain indefinitely those they decided fit that profile. The issue of holding people the military deems a threat without giving them a traditional trial continues to be fraught with controversy. Like many facets of the criminal justice system, the debate over the legality of detaining suspected terrorists is divided between the concern for public safety and public freedom. By giving the executive branch of our government virtually unlimited power in this area, did we open the door for more of our rights to be taken away? Was this unequal distribution of power necessary to protect our nation from rampant terrorism and the hazard it poses for our nation?

Note on the Author

Michaela Clark is a first year undeclared student at Bridgewater State College who is interested in both Criminal Justice and Sociology as possible majors. This paper was written for the Honors section of Introduction to Criminal Justice taught by Dr. Richard Wright in the Fall of 2008.

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