They are still not releasing the identity of the soldier who committed the massacre in Afghanistan, however more details are leaking out. But the one thing that caught my attention most about this article is at the bottom:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested that the death penalty is under consideration as a possible punishment for the massacre
While I’m certainly a proponent of the death penalty, I don’t think I could support it in this case. I mean it’s war over there and this soldier had served several deployments and was about to start another. I’ve no idea how that affects a person, especially when they may not want to be there anymore. And it does kinda sound like he may have snapped.
I’m not defending his actions at all and he should be severely punished for them. But to suggest the death penalty, considering all that happens to a soldier at war, seems to me to be more about appeasement than about punishing the soldier. And I say that considering this administration’s tendency to appease our enemies.
DAILY MAIL – The U.S. soldier held in connection to a heinous shooting rampage that claimed the lives of 16 Afghans over the weekend – including nine children – may have been drunk as he fired.
The soldier, who has not yet been identified, is also believed to have been plagued by various stresses stemming from his deployment, his marriage, and the fact that he had seen a friend’s leg blown off the day before the massacre.
A high-ranking U.S. official told The New York Times Thursday: ‘When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues – he just snapped’.
He is being represented by John Henry Browne, a lawyer whose resume includes defending notorious serial killer Ted Bundy and Colton Harris-Moore, the ‘Barefoot Bandit’.
Mr Browne said Thursday: ‘We have been informed that at this small base that he was at, somebody was gravely injured the day before the alleged incident – gravely injured, and that affected all of the soldiers’.
Mr Browne said he knew little of the facts of the shooting, but disputed reports that a combination of alcohol, stress and domestic issues caused him to snap.
He said the family said they were unaware of any drinking problem, and described the couple’s marriage as ‘fabulous’.
But he did say that the soldier had previously been injured twice, and he and his family thought he was done fighting.
Mr Browne added: ‘He wasn’t thrilled about going on another deployment. He was told he wasn’t going back, and then he was told he was going.’
He told reporters that he’s met with the wife and other family members of the 38-year-old staff sergeant.
‘They were totally shocked,’ he said. ‘He’s never said anything antagonistic about Muslims. He’s in general very mild-mannered.’
The suspect was flown out of Afghanistan on Wednesday evening to what officials describe as a pretrial confinement facility in Kuwait.
He has served three tours in Iraq and began his first deployment to Afghanistan in December.
The soldier asked to be represented by Mr Browne when he was taken into custody, the lawyer said.
Browne said he’s spoken with the soldier, but did not discuss the substance of the allegations.
He said the soldier had no prior events in his Army dossier indicating misbehaviour.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested that the death penalty is under consideration as a possible punishment for the massacre.