Democracy Now: Last Marine Charged in Haditha Massacre Reaches Plea Deal

The prosecution of the last of the U.S. marines charged in the 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians has ended in a plea deal that will result in at most three months behind bars, and possibly no jail time at all. The victims, including women and children, were killed when the marines burst into their homes and shot them dead in their nightclothes. On Monday, the marines’ squadron leader, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, pleaded guilty to negligence as part of a deal that will wipe out charges of involuntary manslaughter. During his trial, a fellow marine testified that Wuterich called for violent retaliation against Iraqi civilians if they were attacked. Wuterich allegedly told his men, “If we ever get hit again, we should kill everyone in that vicinity.” Under the plea deal, Wuterich will face a maximum of three months confinement, a pay cut for three months and a reduction in rank. He was the last defendant to face charges for the Haditha killings. Six other marines have had their charges dropped or dismissed, while another soldier was acquitted.

~ by wheresthemic on January 24, 2012.

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