Hunter proposes compromise bill

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, yesterday proposed compromise legislation on evidence in terrorist trials.

The Bush administration wants to limit the courtroom rights of suspected terrorists by preventing them seeing the evidence against them.

Hunter proposes that suspected terrorists be allowed civilian defense counsels who can see classified information but not share it with their clients.

“The onus lies with the prosecution to convince the judge to exclude the terrorist from being present when classified information is presented,” said a GOP committee source, adding that the judge also has to instruct the jury panel to give the evidence the appropriate weight, considering that the accused does not get to see it.

Hunter is “adamant” that classified information not be released.