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This article reviews the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to uphold the conviction and sentence of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the sole Guantánamo detainee to have been transferred to the United States for trial. Ghailani was captured nearly five years before his arraignment and argued that his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated by the delay. The article contends that, in rejecting Ghailani’s argument, the Second Circuit distorted the doctrinal framework governing speedy trial claims and mischaracterized the interests that the speedy trial right is intended to protect. The article also explores the implications of the Second Circuit’s decision for cases in which the government asserts a national security interest in postponing a defendant’s prosecution while continuing to hold the defendant in custody.

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Journal of International Criminal Justice

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