Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sgt Robert Bales gets life without parole

And all he did was murder 16 Afghans in their homes one night on his own initiative. As he had already pleaded guilty, the only question was what his sentence would be.
An Army jury Friday handed Staff Sgt. Robert Bales the harshest sentence it could give for the massacre he committed in Afghanistan last year. But knowing he’d spend the rest of his life in jail did not satisfy victims who traveled 7,000 miles to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for his trial.

“We wanted this murderer to be executed, but we did not get our wish,” said Haji Mohammed Wazir, who lost six children, his wife and mother to Bales’ killing spree in Kandahar province. “We came all the way to the United States to get justice, but we did not get that.”

Bales, 40, faced a mandatory minimum life sentence for his slaughter of 16 civilians on March 11, 2012. He avoided the death penalty in June by pleading guilty, and he was seeking a chance for parole at this week’s sentencing trial at the base.

His sentence ended a dramatic four days in which an Afghan villager cursed him on the witness stand and Bales gave his first public apology for the killings he committed on his fourth combat tour with his Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade...

Bales’ sentence is among the most severe for any American war crime coming out of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Former Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs of another Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade in 2011 received a life sentence with a chance for parole following his court-martial for the murders of three Afghan civilians the previous year. Former Pfc. Steven Green received life without parole for raping and killing an Iraqi girl and murdering her family in 2006.
In the meantime, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is expected to get the death sentence for his murder of 13 US soldiers on their home base one day on his own initiative.


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