News Release

Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Blasts Administration's ‘Retrograde' Guantánamo Plan

Washington, DC (Jan. 30, 2018) – Today, the Trump Administration formally rescinded President Obama’s 2009 directive to close the detention facility at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The practical effect of this action is that, for the foreseeable future, the military detention facility at which there remain 41 detainees, the majority of whom have never even been charged with any offense, and some of whom actually have been cleared for transfer, shall remain open. Overall, roughly 780 people have been detained at this facility since 2002. 

"For 16 years now, we have watched in horror as the conditions of detention and the sham of a criminal justice process – all at the hands of the U.S. government – have shocked the consciences of people the world over,” said NACDL President Rick Jones. “The Administration’s retrograde plan, appearing to reinvigorate the long-ago discredited enterprise at Guantánamo, is profoundly dispiriting. There’s absolutely nothing ‘Great Again’ about indefinite detention without charge and the continued pursuit of death penalty charges against people who were tortured by the U.S. government in a system that eavesdrops on attorney-client communications and systematically violates the constitutional rights of the accused. The Trump Administration should embrace the U.S. Constitution, and shut down Guantánamo immediately."

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Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.