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US 'kill team' soldier who murdered unarmed Afghans escapes life sentence watch

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    Jeremy Morlock receives 24 years in prison following plea deal to give evidence against fellow soldiers



    A US soldier who pleaded guilty to the murders of three Afghan civilians has been sentenced to 24 years in prison after saying "the plan was to kill people" in a conspiracy with four fellow soldiers.

    The military judge said he initially intended to sentence Jeremy Morlock to life in prison with possibility of parole but was bound by the plea deal.

    Morlock, the first of five soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade to be court-martialed in the case, will receive 352 days off of his sentence for time served and could be eligible for parole in about seven years, his attorney, Frank Spinner, said. He will be dishonourably discharged as part of his sentence.

    The 22-year-old is a key figure in a war crimes investigation that has raised some of the most serious criminal allegations to come out of the war in Afghanistan. Army investigators accused him of taking a lead role in the killings of three unarmed Afghan men in Kandahar province in January, February and May 2010.

    His sentencing came hours after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three counts of murder, and one count each of conspiracy, obstructing justice and illegal drug use at his court martial at the Lewis-McChord military base in Washington state.

    Under his plea deal, he has agreed to testify against his codefendants.

    Asked by the judge whether the plan was to shoot at people to scare them, or to shoot to kill, Morlock replied: "The plan was to kill people."

    Speaking after the sentencing, Spinner read a statement prepared by Morlock in which the soldier apologised for the pain he had caused his victims' families and the people of Afghanistan and asked for forgiveness from his fellow soldiers.

    The plea deal had been in place for nearly two months, so the sentence "wasn't really a surprise" to Morlock, Spinner told reporters.

    Morlock told the judge that he and the other soldiers first began plotting to murder unarmed Afghans in late 2009, several weeks before the first killing took place. To make the killings appear justified, the soldiers planned to plant weapons near the bodies of the victims, he said.

    Morlock said he had second thoughts about the murder plot while home on leave in March 2010, after the first two killings.

    "It was really hard to come back," he told the judge, adding that he no longer wanted to "engage or be part of anything" like the killings that had already occurred.

    Morlock said he did not voice his doubts to his fellow soldiers, however, and he went on to participate in the third killing in May.

    Morlock also admitted to smoking hashish while stationed in Afghanistan, though he said he was not under the influence of the drug at the time of the killings. In addition, he admitted to being one of six soldiers who assaulted a fellow platoon member after that man reported the drug use.

    Morlock, his voice shaking at times, told the judge he had asked himself "how I could become so insensitive and how I lost my moral compass".

    "I don't know if I will ever be able to answer those questions," he said, adding that he believed he "wasn't fully prepared for the reality of war as it was being fought in Afghanistan".

    Earlier this week, the German news magazine Der Spiegel published three graphic photos showing Morlock and other soldiers posing with dead Afghans. One image features Morlock grinning as he lifts the head of a corpse by its hair.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-team-sentence
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    Thanks for copying all the latest news headlines.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    Thanks for copying all the latest news headlines.
    Anytime bro, anytime....
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    Disgraceful.
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    24 years in prison will be prrety brutal. A quarter of your life gone. 25 years spent in a box getting an hour of sunlight a day.
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    Here the original thread about this: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1580825

    Bloody scum. I wouldn't shed a tear if those 'soldiers' were executed.

    (Original post by Aj12)
    24 years in prison will be prrety brutal. A quarter of your life gone. 25 years spent in a box getting an hour of sunlight a day.
    Not enough.
    They/He deserve worse. I have no pity for him whatsoever.
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    (Original post by silent ninja)
    Here the original thread about this: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1580825

    Bloody scum. I wouldn't shed a tear if those 'soldiers' were executed.



    Not enough.
    They deserve worse. I have no pity for them whatsoever.
    When was your last tour in Helmand?

    Just saying that these men are conditioned to fight and murder without remorse. We create men like these.

    Not saying its an excuse for what they did and they are rightly being punished but its hardly black and white.
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    Not enough. He should be hanging by the end of a rope.

    I have a mixed opinion on plea deals. On one hand they break stalemates or long, drawn out trials. On the other hand, they allow the most treacherous to get away with lighter sentences. They should own up to it first. No unfair deals. And hope to whatever higher power they put trust in, that mercy will be shown.
    Whatever, they are all evil scum and I couldn't give a **** if they sell each other out. But the justice system is essentially rewarding traitors.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    When was your last tour in Helmand?

    Just saying that these men are conditioned to fight and murder without remorse. We create men like these.

    Not saying its an excuse for what they did and they are rightly being punished but its hardly black and white.
    It sounds like you are trying to justify it.

    We create men like these?

    If a soldier can't even tell who the enemy is from a bunch of defenceless villagers, he's not much of a soldier but more of a plain blooded murderer on a killing spree. The simple fact is this wasn't one madman, as you suggest, but an entire group of men involved in these killings. It was premeditated. They supported and acted in unison. It wasnt as though one of them 'cracked' so to speak. This is far more sinister.

    It is purely a disregard for life. They were having fun whilst killing innocent people.

    I have zero pity for them.
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    I myself would love to see him face the same fate his victims faced however 23 hours in a 4x4 box with no light for 24 years will be enough. He will beg to die then.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    24 years in prison will be prrety brutal. A quarter of your life gone. 25 years spent in a box getting an hour of sunlight a day.
    Are you kidding me?
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    (Original post by Highlander03)
    Are you kidding me?
    because prison is such a walk in the park right?
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    because prison is such a walk in the park right?
    Do you even begin to contemplate what these sick animals did? A couple of years in a 'prison' is nothing compared to what the victims went through, their families and loved ones.
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    (Original post by Highlander03)
    Do you even begin to contemplate what these sick animals did? A couple of years in a 'prison' is nothing compared to what the victims went through, their families and loved ones.
    A couple? Its 24 years. In prison. Hardly easy is it? What they did was horrible yes but 24 years in a prison sell is hardly peachy. With a crime like this he won't have much of a chance of parole anyway.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    A couple? Its 24 years. In prison. Hardly easy is it? What they did was horrible yes but 24 years in a prison sell is hardly peachy. With a crime like this he won't have much of a chance of parole anyway.
    He took the lives of innocent people. Thats entire lives gone by in an instant. We're talking about a possible hundred years of peoples existence. In addition to this the victims families will carry their losses for the remainder of their lives as well. If this is maximum extent of punishment possible under the law, then yeh he deserves every minute of it. I'm sorry but when you commit such heinous crimes such as the above, not to mention the cynical grin on his face, having pity on the number of years he'l serve is not warranted.
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    (Original post by Highlander03)
    He took the lives of innocent people. Thats entire lives gone by in an instant. We're talking about a possible hundred years of peoples existence. In addition to this the victims families will carry their losses for the remainder of their lives as well. If this is maximum extent of punishment possible under the law, then yeh he deserves every minute of it. I'm sorry but when you commit such heinous crimes such as the above, not to mention the cynical grin on his face, having pity on the number of years he'l serve is not warranted.
    Possible 100 years? No In Afghanistan life expectancy is around 42.

    25 in what will likely be solitary confinement for much of it. You realize this will likely drive him insane? Look up what solitary confinement does to a man then maybe you will understand.

    And then what? He will get out of prison and have nothing be well into his 50's his entire life is ruined to.

    I don't want to be defending this man but frankly what he will face is no walk in the park.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Possible 100 years? No In Afghanistan life expectancy is around 42.

    25 in what will likely be solitary confinement for much of it. You realize this will likely drive him insane? Look up what solitary confinement does to a man then maybe you will understand.

    And then what? He will get out of prison and have nothing be well into his 50's his entire life is ruined to.

    I don't want to be defending this man but frankly what he will face is no walk in the park.
    As in a "total". There were 3 counts of murders, so the total would be >100. Tbh I don't care what it would do to him. That's what you get when you decide to take peoples lives at will. He knew full well of this, yet decided to percede. His entire life ruined? It's his own fault. We shouldnt feel emotionally sympathetic to any criminal guilty of murder. The law is the law.

    But I understand where you're coming from. From a neutral perspective, solitary confinement isn't the best of places to be. Despite this It's a punishment which he deserves.
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    Should be life, with no possibility of parole.

    I would never want them to be executed for it, though.
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    What EXACTLY does get someone the death penalty in America?? This is a disgrace - the Judge may aswell urinate on the Afghan corpses.

    There is just something so particularly vile and injust about parole in seven years - 7 years FFS :sigh:
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    When was your last tour in Helmand?

    Just saying that these men are conditioned to fight and murder without remorse. We create men like these.

    Not saying its an excuse for what they did and they are rightly being punished but its hardly black and white.
    I disagree.

    It's as black and white as right and wrong.

    Murdering civilians without a just cause or reason, is wrong.

    I see the double standard you're applying here; terrorism is fine, as long as it's an American or British soldier.
 
 
 
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