Chris Jenks

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Chris Jenks is an Associate Professor of Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas and Research Fellow at the Program on the Regulation of Emerging Military Technology in Australia. Prior to joining the SMU Law faculty, Professor Jenks served for 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, initially in the Infantry and later as a Judge Advocate. He was the lead prosecutor in the Army's first counter-terrorism case, a classified contested court-martial of a Soldier attempting to aid al-Qaeda and also worked in the political-military and human rights and refugees sections of the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State. In his final military assignment, he was the chief of the Army's international law branch in the Pentagon. Professor Jenks' teaching and scholarship focus on the law of armed conflict, national security law and emerging technology. He received a Fulbright Senior Scholars grant to research autonomous weapons and also served as the Special Counsel to the General Counsel for the Defense Department. He is a co-author of The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Perspective.

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Homeland Security

Extradition, Chesimard, and U.S.-Cuba Relations

Following President Obama’s announcement that the US would begin normalizing relations with Cuba, questions immediately arose on the possible extradition of Joanne Deborah Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur.  She is a member of the Black Liberation Army (“BLA”) and murdered Werner Foerster, a New Jersey police officer, in 1973.  A New Jersey court sentenced her to life imprisonment in 1977 but in 1979 she escaped from prison and fled to Cuba.