Can Defendants Be Forced To Testify?

The madness of Guantanamo prisoners continues with the latest episode in which some defendants argued they had a right to have someone speak for them and when denied, they refused to attend the session. The Prosecutor asked the judge to allow Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to have five minutes to speak, but the request was denied. The question whether a defendant can be forced to attend his trial is now up in the air. At times, judges have allowed guards to use force to bring defendants to a trial, in other situations, they have been allowed to boycott the session.

The current system is a legal and moral mess. Step one in bringing about change is to allow defendants to participate in a regular court session. The United States of America has more people in jail than any nation in the world. Surely, we can allow a few more trials without causing a collapse of the judiciary system.

I assume a defendant has a right to keep silent.

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