Army contractor fined $12,500 for revenge killing
An army contractor received a $12,500 fine, five years' probation, and no jail time for killing a flex-cuffed Afghan who had doused his colleague with gasoline and set her one fire.
The immolation victim eventually died of her injuries, but she was still alive when the contractor shot the prisoner.
As horrific as the provocation was, the sentence seems awfully light for first degree murder of a prisoner. Killing a handcuffed prisoner is absolutely beyond the pale.
Update: The contractor was initially charged with murder but the charge was later reduced to manslaughter, an offense which carries up to eight years in prison. Based on the circumstances outlined in the Danger Room post, I think the charge was way too light, and the sentence was a joke relative to the charge.
The contractor executed a prisoner in U.S. custody. I don't care how evil the prisoner's conduct was. In wartime, soldiers will inevitably take prisoners who have done terrible things to their comrades. The contractor ostensibly got an unusually light sentence because the judge agreed that he was suffering from diminished responsibility because of the trauma of the attack. If we let the fog of war count as a defense for killing prisoners, we're opening the door to summary executions on the battlefield. The contractor is a former Army Ranger, so he has been trained to control himself in battle.
This is a dangerous precedent.