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Haditha massacre: not murder but negligent homicide

6. October 2007

by Frank Friedrich Kling, USA

In a further blow to American military jurisprudence, the Marine corp. squad leader responsible for an assault in Haditha, Iraq that killed 24 innocent men, women, and children will not be tried for murder based on the recommendation handed out today by the Haditha investigating officer, Lt. Col. Paul Ware.

Lt. Col. Ware recommended to Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general overseeing the case, that Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich previously charged with the murder of 17 Iraqis should instead face prosecution for negligent homicide. A conviction for negligent homocide would result in a maximum sentence of three years prison versus life for murder.

Wuterich’s attorney, Neal Puckett said, “We’re both very pleased and also not surprised given how the other cases have gone. A Marine corp. spokesman declined to comment.

In the largest case to date involving civilian Iraqi deaths, U.S. military prosecutors have completely failed in winning a single conviction against either officers or enlisted personnel.

See articles on related topics by the same other:
US sniper acquitted in murder of Iraqi civilians
Abu Ghraib torture officers eventually acquitted