« "Voting and Vice: Criminal Disenfranchisement and the Reconstruction Amendments" | Main | Wisconsin Supreme Court addresses registration requirements for homeless sex offenders »

March 13, 2012

"Soldier could face death penalty in Afghan killings, Panetta says"

The title of this post is the headline of this new CNN report, which highlights how the hottest issue of international relations is now also a sentencing story:

The U.S. Army soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan men, women and children in a house-to-house shooting rampage could face the death penalty, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. Panetta spoke to reporters as he flew to the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan for high-level talks Tuesday....

An American sergeant is suspected of shooting nine children, three women and four men in two villages near his combat outpost in southern Afghanistan on Sunday. He turned himself in after the killings, the military said. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command is leading the investigation. The suspect has not been charged....

Leaders from across Afghanistan's fragmented political terrain have expressed anger and outrage over the attack in the district of Panjwai in Kandahar province. Karzai has condemned the weekend bloodshed as "unforgivable." Afghanistan's parliament has demanded a public trial for the suspect, and the Afghan Taliban have described U.S. troops as "sick-minded American savages" and vowed to exact revenge....

Sunday's killings have brought a deluge of high-level statements from Washington expressing shock, sadness and insistence that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan would stay on course....

The still-unidentified suspect in the attack served three tours of duty in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan, said Gen. John Allen, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan. A U.S. military official, who asked not to be named because he was talking about an ongoing investigation, said the suspect is an Army staff sergeant who arrived in Afghanistan in January.

During the suspect's last deployment, in 2010, he was riding in a vehicle that rolled over in a wreck, according to a senior Defense Department official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. The sergeant was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after the wreck but was found fit for duty after treatment, the official said.

March 13, 2012 at 09:27 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Soldier could face death penalty in Afghan killings, Panetta says":


hmm here's a radical though. Maybe the idiots who sent him there for FOUR tours and kept him there AFTER a head injury should take his place in the galloes!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 11:36:15 AM

How do you know he didn't request to be sent into combat again?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 13, 2012 2:29:24 PM

The last execution of a soldier for an atrocity against a foreigner was in 1961 (black soldier raped and attempted to murder an 11-year-old Austrian child).

I'm not holding my breath that this one will face the needle. Even though he deserves it.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Mar 13, 2012 2:54:51 PM

@Res Ipsa
It would be FAR more likely to happen if they let the Feds prosecute him rather than the military.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 13, 2012 2:58:21 PM

The guy might have been completely out of his mind -- indeed, it's hard to imagine that anything else was the case.

If, however, he knew what he was doing and intended to do it, then this certainly deserves the DP. You just can't mow down defensless and unsuspecting women and children and expect anything other than the ultimate legal punishment.

He should not, however, get the DP because of the political outcry. He should get it because he earned it on the merits.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 13, 2012 4:05:05 PM


How do you know he didn't request to be sent into combat again?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 13, 2012 2:29:24 PM"

Hmm 4th volunteer tour in a hell hole like afghanistan would see to be OBVIOUS evidence of a CLEAR MENTAL INSTABILITY!

sorry had to do it.

right now i see nothing in the article either way! but it would seem that multiple combat tours espeicaly in combat conditions like this that involve gurellia warfare are a hell of a lot rougher on an individual than straight up combat like between two normal national armies. All i'm saying we might want to step back and make sure we are not MAKING the problem! especialy in a case like this were the is clear evidence of a head trauma. At that point he should NOT have been there!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 5:00:41 PM

"Hmm 4th volunteer tour in a hell hole like afghanistan would see to be OBVIOUS evidence of a CLEAR MENTAL INSTABILITY!"

Not really, there 10's of thousands of marines and soldiers serving multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq who never massacred civilians.

"right now i see nothing in the article either way!"

So you're just guessing?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 13, 2012 6:46:39 PM

just like YOU are! we have a 50/50 chance of being right.

BUT you are not right on the final part!

Once he had a traumatic head injury that should have been IT! Anything after that falls on the heads of those who left him there!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 14, 2012 12:10:20 AM

based on this article he NEVER should have been there! If the govt wasn't so desperate for bodies for their world conquest he probably would NOT have been!


"There was new information Monday about the soldier accused of the killings. A Department of Defense official told CNN the man, a staff sergeant, was a qualified infantry sniper, trained to hit to kill at about 800 meters. He had spent three tours of duty in Iraq, where he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2010 vehicle accident.

After treatment, he was cleared to return to duty and was serving his first tour in Afghanistan."

So let's se he's done 3 tours in iraq then has a TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY and they shove a bandaid on it and move him to afghanistan?. Plus since in 10 diff stories i find NOTHING that indicates he was a VOLUNTEER so i'm gonna assume he wasn't or it would have come out by now!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 14, 2012 12:21:49 AM

No matter what, he was a volunteer in the final analysis. America hasn't had the draft since 1973.

Posted by: alpino | Mar 14, 2012 2:25:05 AM

hmm talking out your rear again huh alpino. Sorry last time i looked legally he volunteered to defend american in our armry. Sorry i must have missed the legal "declaration of war" against afghanistan or iraq! of course it would have been hard to get those since it was IMPOSSIBLE for either country to threaten this one!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 14, 2012 10:43:25 AM

I'm not talking out of my rear at all. What's more, I seem to be able to express myself without the repeated and tedious use of capital letters (although, oddly enough, you don't use capital letters where appropriate, i.e. Afghanistan and Iraq).
As to your ostensible point, he volunteered. No amount of capital letters will change that fact.

Posted by: alpino | Mar 15, 2012 1:28:48 AM

hmm do the words XXXXXXXXXXXXXX remind you of anyone alpino?

lol started to say something else and had to bite my lip!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 15, 2012 11:16:03 AM

Glad to see you're laughing out loud at your feeble attempts at humor.

Posted by: alpino | Mar 15, 2012 3:54:12 PM

sorry if i'm laughing at anything it's how narrow minded and nick-picky you are!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 16, 2012 12:33:22 PM

I'm not guessing, I'm suggesting an alternative that you don't want to consider because it doesn't allow to rail against the government.

And by all indications his head injury was a concussion, which in no way accounts for mass murder.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 16, 2012 10:09:33 PM

horse pucky mike! if the govt is right i have said so before and have no problem doing it now. In this case we have a solder after multiple combat deployments and not normal combat deployment but deployments in what are gurellia zones with constant threat of ied's and so on getting what is called a "traumatic brain injury" i never saw the word "concussion" anywhere. being sent on ANOTHER combat tour in anther guerilla zone. That is in fact the govt's fault! I have also NOT seen a thing anywhere showing he volunteered.

We need to face the facts! We are NOT the policeman of the world!
We are NOT able to continue to police the world!
We are NOT able to continue to fight multiple wars in multiple locations around the world!
We are NOT able to continue to force our soldiers who joined to protect OUR OWN country to enforce a Pax America around the world!

we're BROKE! time to admit it and bring our soldiers HOME! at that point if another country is SHOWN BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT to be a threat NUKE IT!

and move on!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 17, 2012 1:53:50 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB