However, the manual says the military would not execute a captive who lacks ''the mental capacity to understand the punishment'' -- until he regains the capacity to understand.
But Amnesty International criticized the new guidelines.
''Civilians picked up far from any battlefield still may be tried in a military system of justice,'' said Amnesty International USA's attorney Jumana Musa. ``And defendants can be convicted on evidence obtained through coercion or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that would be inadmissible in any other U.S. judicial forum.''
The manual does not specify that the trials be held at Guantánamo in southeast Cuba. But the Pentagon's Hemingway said it was a likely locale.
Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon, a Pentagon public affairs officer, dismissed as ''absurd'' the notion that a captive could be executed ``based solely on hearsay or coerced testimony.''
''Such evidence, if even admitted into the proceedings, would be considered in context of the cases in their entirety,'' added Gordon, ``and may represent only a fraction of the information used by the prosecution.''
Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he would examine the manual to ensure that it does not ''run afoul'' of the Constitution.
Of particular concern to Dodd are ``the lack of safeguards against coerced evidence being introduced in trial, and the limitations on defense access to witnesses and evidence.''
In its latest formula for a war-crimes court, the Pentagon also has created a job position called a ''convening authority,'' which wasn't in the last version.
The Pentagon announced that job will be held by a woman named Susan Crawford, who was identified as an official there identified as a former military appeals court judge. No other details were provided.
It appears that she will be assuming an oversight position, a referee role, similar to that held in the last go-around by Greenberg Traurig attorney John Altenburg, a retired Army major general.
It also reverses course from the last formula and permits a captive to serve as his own lawyer -- an about-face from an earlier system, which required the appointment of an American military officer as defense attorney.
Clark reported from Washington; Rosenberg from Miami