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Registered: 11-2008
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Should he be released?

Should he be released?

New push to free Army lieutenant convicted of Afghans' murder:

Supporters of a former Army lieutenant sentenced to 20 years in Leavenworth for ordering his men to shoot three civilians in Afghanistan say he should be freed based on newly surfaced evidence showing the victims likely posed a threat after all.

[sign in to see URL] 29, was convicted of murder in the 2012 incident, in which he ordered his platoon to shoot the men approaching a checkpoint on a motorcycle when they refused to stop. Two died, and military prosecutors at Lorance's court martial said he acted recklessly in violation of the military's rules of engagement, which requires soldiers to hold fire absent evidence of hostile action or hostile intent. But now, Lorance's attorneys claim previously withheld evidence shows the men he ordered shot had ties to extremist groups.

“The Army has in its possession evidence linking Afghan military-aged males involved in this general court-martial to improvised explosive devices as well as IED attacks and terror networks in Afghanistan,” reads a memo from Lorance’s attorneys. “The government failed to disclose this information to the chain-of-command, counsel for the defense, and the court-martial. These significant failures strike at the very heart of American due process and show that the government violated its discovery and disclosure obligations…”

Lorance had been leading the 82nd Airborne Division platoon for less than a week following a battle injury to its previous commander when the incident occurred in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan. When the three men sped toward a checkpoint manned by his platoon, posing what Lorance said he believed to be an imminent threat, he ordered his men to open fire. One of the men, Pvt. David Shilo, testified at the court martial that his life was not in immediate danger when he was ordered to shoot.

Lorance became just the second Army officer charged with murder in a battlefield death in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was convicted of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

Lorance's attorneys sought to put the Army's rules of engagement on trial, an argument continued by his supporters who have gathered more than 32,000 signatures calling for him to be freed.

“In modern warfare, there is no clearly defined enemy,” argues a statement on the website his family is using to raise money for the officer’s legal expenses. “Long gone are the days where American soldiers could distinguish their enemy by the uniform they wore.”

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{The military's rules of engagement requires soldiers to hold fire absent evidence of hostile action or hostile intent. Lt. Clint Lorance believed that when the motorcycle refused to stop his men were in imminent threat therefore he ordered his men to fire on them. Did the army accuse him of murder for doing his job? His responsibility was to protect his men and to make the decisions on what was and wasn't an "imminent threat". If he indeed made a mistake and the men killed were unarmed with no hidden bombs but the Lt. had followed his orders as he was required to [sign in to see URL] right does the military have to accuse him of Murder?

Wouldn't a lesser charge have been more appropriate? One of his men testified that he did not feel he "was in immediate danger when he was ordered to shoot". But isn't that the decision the officer is required to make? Does it really matter what the Pvt. thought? The Lt. didn't have the time to go and find a superior officer and ask him or her for their opinion on the matter and was forced to make a quick decision. That is why he was made an officer I presume. To make those kinds of decisions. He did his [sign in to see URL]'t he?

On the other hand if he made a reckless decision and two innocent men died because of it should he not be punished for his error? He was sentenced to 20 years. Do you think that sentence is justified? Does the fact that the men killed may have had contacts with the enemy really matter in this case? It was not a factor in Lorance's decision so what does it prove one way or the other? If you were on a jury in a case like this what would you think? As [sign in to see URL] do you think should be done now?}

"libido sciendi"..... the passion to know.
12/21/2014, 1:08 pm Link to this post PM Noserose

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