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Lawmakers: No Gitmo detainees to Indiana

February 3, 2009

A Northern Indiana lawmaker doesn't want any Guantanamo Bay Naval Base detainees to be sent to a high-security prison in Terre Haute once the Guantanamo camp is closed within a year.

Sen. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, on Monday introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, which urges President Barack Obama and his administration to recognize Indiana's position against accepting any detainees from the prison camp in Cuba, which currently houses about 245 prisoners. The president has vowed to close it.

The resolution notes that about 100 detainees are considered too dangerous to be released from U.S. custody; about 80 could face criminal charges in federal courts; and about 60 have been cleared for release but can't be sent to their own countries because they'd be harmed.

"For the safety of Indiana residents and to avoid making Indiana a target for future terrorist attacks, the Indiana General Assembly respectfully requests that those currently detained at Guantanamo Bay not be relocated to the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute ... or any future facility within the State," the resolution states.

At issue is the Federal Correctional Complex, a maximum-security prison located about 2 miles southwest of Terre Haute and the home for high-security prisoners facing federal death sentences.

The resolution has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation & Veterans Affairs. Also signing on to the legislation are: Sens. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo; Greg Walker, R-Columbus; Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury; Reps. Milo Smith, R-Columbus; Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton; Bill Davis, R-Portland; Cindy Noe, R-Indianapolis; Jackie Walorski, R-Jimtown; Rich McClain, R-Logansport; Matt Lehman, R-Berne; David Yarde, R-Garrett; and Wes Culver, R-Goshen.

Read more in the Feb. 4, 2009, issue of Indiana Lawyer about the orders to close Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and how several Indiana attorneys representing detainees feel about the current events and policy changes.

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