News / USA

Marine Spared Jail Time in Iraq Killings

Marine Corps Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich arrives for a pre-trial hearing with his lawyer Neal A. Puckett and girlfriend Melissa Balcombe at Camp Pendleton, California March 22, 2010.
Marine Corps Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich arrives for a pre-trial hearing with his lawyer Neal A. Puckett and girlfriend Melissa Balcombe at Camp Pendleton, California March 22, 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +

The last Marine to face a court martial in the deaths of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians was spared any jail time for his role in the killings that brought international condemnation of American troops.

In the military courtroom at Camp Pendleton, Califorinia, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich expressed remorse and his sorrow for the deaths. But he told the military judge that he did not fire at any women or children.

Wuterich pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of negligent dereliction of duty. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 90 days of confinement, but will not serve them because of a pre-trial deal. He will be demoted to the rank of private, the lowest military rank.

He originally was charged with manslaughter in a case that became known simply by the name of the town  - Haditha - where it took place. They were accused of bursting into homes and shooting residents - including children and the elderly, after an insurgent's bomb killed a member of their squad.

Wuterich was the last of eight Marines prosecuted in the case. The other seven were cleared.

Military law experts say it is difficult to bring convictions in such cases, because the Marines believed they were under fire in a hostile environment, and it becomes hard to determine fault for events that happen in the heat of combat.  

A Marine Corps spokesman said that in his guilty plea, Wuterich accepted responsibility for the attack, and admitted that he gave an order to his troops to "shoot first, ask questions later."

In an ABC News report from Haditha Tuesday, survivors of the attack were dismayed.

Awis Fami Hussein, who was shot in the back, said  "I was expecting that the American judiciary would sentence this person to life in prison and that he would appear and confess in front of the whole world that he committed this crime, so that America could show itself as democratic and fair.''

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid