Death Penalty Possible In Court Martial Of Army Sgt. Accused Of Afghan Killings | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Death Penalty Possible In Court Martial Of Army Sgt. Accused Of Afghan Killings

The Army staff sergeant accused in the March 11 murders of 16 Afghan civilians and shooting of six others could be given the death penalty if he's convicted of all the charges officially filed against him this week, a General Court-Martial Convening Authority announced Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 39, prosecutors say, attacked two villages near his base in southern Afghanistan. Among the 16 people killed, nine were children.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, the convening authority announced that Bales faces:

-- "Sixteen specifications of murder."

-- "Six specifications of attempted murder."

-- "Seven specifications of assault."

-- "Two specifications of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline."

-- "Two specifications of wrongful use of a controlled substance."

-- "One specification of violation of a lawful order."

It added that:

"If convicted of all charges (and specifications), the maximum punishment is death. For capital punishment to be imposed, the court-martial members must unanimously find: the service member is guilty of the eligible crime; at least one aggravating factor exists; and that the aggravating factor must substantially outweigh any extenuating or mitigating circumstances found by the court-martial members."

No date has been set for Bales' court martial.

The last time the U.S. military executed one of its personnel was in 1961, when Pvt. John Bennett, an African-American, "was hanged for raping a white girl in Austria," as the Los Angeles Times writes.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Local Theaters Put 'The Interview' On The Marquee

A handful of theaters nationwide decided to show Sony's "The Interview," and there were several in the D.C. area.

NPR

Why Bury Fig Trees? A Curious Tradition Preserves A Taste Of Italy

For generations, Italian-American fig growers in the Northeast have buried their trees in trenches for the winter. It's a tradition that preserves both flavor and ancestral ties to southern Italy.
NPR

Most Federal Workers Get Day After Christmas Off

Thanks to an executive order signed by President Obama, most federal workers are also off on Friday. The cost for the extra day off is $660 million.
NPR

Sony Hack Highlights The Global Underground Market For Malware

The software used in the Sony data breach is available on the underground market. This makes it easier for criminals to execute an attack but harder to identify the perpetrators.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.