For over two decades, the United States imprisoned and detained hundreds of suspected terrorists at the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. While many of these prisoners were suspected of being terrorists, no formal charges were ever levied against the detainees. All of the prisoners detained were considered non-citizens of the United States. They were not citizens of either Cuba or the United States. Instead, they were citizens of another country. While the legal precedent in the United States' territorial jurisdiction is that non-citizens are granted specific Constitutional rights, Guantánamo Bay was a legal black hole to which the United States had not claimed territorial jurisdiction. This paper seeks to understand if the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay held any Constitutional rights when they were brought to the Naval Base. Through the examination of the Supreme Court cases that dealt with non-citizen prisoners located outside of the United States borders and through the classification of the prisoners as unlawful enemy combatants, the question of the legal rights held by these prisoners will be answered. A better understanding of the events that transpired at Guantánamo Bay will allow the United States federal government and subsequent intelligence communities better insight into the rights that non-citizens possess.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Politics, Security and International Affairs
Oldershaw, Julia, "The Evaluation of Legal Rights Granted to Non-Citizen Detainees" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1398.