Paul T. Clark

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Intelligence Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Philip Vos Fellman


This research paper will identify whether civilian criminal courts or military commissions are better suited to prosecute international terrorism suspects. Recent court cases from both legal systems will be compared and reviewed for trial length, conviction and appeal rates, and length of sentence, the more successful legal system for prosecuting terrorism suspects will be identified. Review of the court data demonstrates that civilian criminal courts are more effective in prosecuting international terrorism cases than military commissions because federal courts have trusted rules of evidence and a larger body of case law that can be used to establish precedent for convictions.



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