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Judge Andrew Napolitano says US Marines can be executed for crimes against Iraqi family

Reported by Chrish - August 9, 2006 -

Calling the evidence against them "overwhelming", Judge Napolitano, on the Big Story 8/8/06, states that the soldiers charged in the rape of a teenaged Iraqi girl and the murder of her, her young sister, and their parents can lead to the death penalty for the five young men.

Four of the five defendants will be tried by American military courts in Baghdad and the fifth, who was discharged for mental instability after the incident, will be tried in federal court in the USA. The speaker of the Iraqi parliament would prefer that all five be tried in local Iraq courts, but that's not going to happen.

The four men in Iraq are currently undergoing a proceeding called an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing. In this proceeding, however, evidence is heard by one investigating officer, who then decides if it goes to trial. The evidence says the five planned the attack for days, and told fellow officers after the crimes had been committed. The evidence says they took turns raping the girl, 14 years old, while holding her family at gunpoint. They then shot and killed the family and set the girl on fire to destroy the evidence. Napolitano says the government will seek the death penalty in courts martial for the four in Iraq and also for the one discharged and being tried in his home state of Kentucky.

Comment: There's no way to spin this or make these soldiers look good and thankfully Gibson didn't even try. My heart goes out to the soldiers' families but mostly my heart goes to that Iraqi family for what they endured.

Note: Amended 8/10/06 to reflect that defendants are Army, not Marines. Sorry for the mistake.