Thursday, May 28, 2009

What death penalty?

From CNN: 

A U.S. soldier convicted of murdering an Iraqi family issuing a public apology on Thursday for his crimes. Steven Green, who escaped the death penalty this month, told relatives of the victims that he is "truly sorry for what I did in Iraq." Green was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Kentucky of raping a 14-year-old girl and murdering her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister in the town of Yusufiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad...

So isn't this the same thing as this U.S. District Court of Kentucky issuing the opinion that the death penalty is wrong?


3 comments:

JimII said...

Not necessarily. The death penalty is supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst crimes. In deciding on the penalty (as opposed to guilt) factors about the individual come in.

So here, there are obvious aggravators, the associated rape, multiple victims, the age of the victims. However, there might also be significant mitigation, the murdered may have suffered from PTSD, may have shown genuine remorse, may have lead an otherwise exemplary life, may have many people who care for him, may have a relationship with children of his own. None of these would excuse the crime--that is, none of them would relieve him of being culpable. However, they might very well tip the balance in favor of lifetime incarnceration instead of execution.

Geoff said...

Why wasn't he tried under the UCMJ?

JimII said...

Good question. It looks to me like the path should be Courts0martial appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals appealed to the US Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces appealed to the U.S. Sup. Ct.