|"Lawyers are the Key to Freedom" lecture set for Oct. 15|
Lieutenant Colonel Colby C. Vokey will present a free public lecture titled “Lawyers are the Key to Freedom: From Guantanamo Bay to Iraq,” at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the Baker Courtroom, School of Law. His lecture will address his U.S. Marine Corps experiences, his challenging cases, and his position as a chief defense lawyer. A reception with students will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in the Law School Student Lounge.
Vokey, a reputable Marine Corps Defense Counsel, was a chief defense lawyer to the Canadian Terror suspect in the Omar Khadr Case. On July 27, 2002, a U.S. Delta Force soldier, Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer, was fatally wounded in an Afghanistan firefight. The suspect was a 15 year old Canadian teenager at the time, named Omar Ahmed Khadr. He was captured and taken to Guantanamo Bay. Under a November 2001 order from President Bush, Khadr was not able to claim many rights defendants are granted in civilian courts. Facing murder charges by the U.S. military commission, Khadr was represented by Vokey.
With a reputation for being a great litigator, Vokey feels strongly for the case and considers it the biggest challenge he has faced. He believes that Omar Khadr’s case was an injustice and that Omar was a young boy who was prosecuted for the crimes of his father. Omar’s father Ahmed Said Khadr is an Al Qaeda financer. Ahmed Said Khadr was killed in a Pakistani battle in 2003.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Vokey also has roots in Canada. His father, a native to Canada, joined the U.S. Air Force and later joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Vokey also joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he was awarded the combat ribbon as an artillery officer during the Persian Gulf War. Vokey is a graduate of the UND School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctor with Distinction in 1998. He then worked as a chief of all the Corps’ defense lawyers in the western United States. Vokey has since then left the Corps and said that the Omar Khadr case had an influence on his decision. He has served as both a prosecutor and a defense counsel in hundreds of military courts-martial and other cases.
For more information about Vokey, including an extended bio and high resolution photo, visit www.law.und.edu/News/f08/CVokey.php The lecture is sponsored by the Criminal Law Association and the International Human Rights Organization.
-- Rob Carolin, Director of Alumni & Public Relations, Law School, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-2856