Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Military Justice

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A U.S. soldier was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after a court-martial found him guilty of killing three Iraqi detainees who were freed and told to run before being shot, officials at Fort Campbell in Kentucky said.

Sgt. Raymond Girouard, 24, of Sweetwater, Tennessee, had been charged with premeditated murder and other offenses that could have drawn a life sentence; but the military jury hearing his case convicted him on Friday of negligent homicide, a lesser offense.

Kiling three people who haven't been charged with a crime with premeditation and frankly sadism is worth just ten years in prison? I am wondering if the people doing their third strike and twenty-five years to live for simple theft are feeling a little put out by this news. But, it get's better.
Monday's sentence is subject to review by the commanding general at the post, and he could be paroled after serving about a third of the 10-year sentence, a spokesman said.

That's right. He may get out after just 40 months for this. I am sure Iraqis will take the lesson from this that their lives are considered valuable by America and that we are serious about punishing people who think that Iraqi people aren't as important when they are murdered.

You are in a jury in the US. The facts are not in dispute. A man tells three people to start running, then he picks them off with malice. Is there any way he is going to be free to see freedom in less time than it takes to finish a college degree?

I don't expect our soldiers to be saints. They have a tough job. However when one commits three murders in cold blood, and not in the heat of combat, I expect their lives to be valued at more than 14 months a person. Call me a law & order kind of guy.