American Soldier Charged with Rape and Murder

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PADUCAH, Kentucky—The members of an Iraqi family who survived an attack said that they are haunted by the murder and pillage committed by a gang of U.S. soldiers.

On Monday, during the testifying, family members said their lives have been ruined, and that they wished that the U.S. soldiers had killed them as well. In the sentencing phase of a trial, one soldier has been convicted and may face the death penalty.

As the family members testified, defendant Steven Green made no eye contact.

Green has been identified as the person in charge of the murder rampage. He was convicted last week in the United States District Court in Kentucky of rape, murder, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

He along with other soldiers broke into the home of an Iraqi family in 2006, raped a 14-year-old girl, killed her and the rest of her family members who were present, then proceeded to set the home on fire, authorities said.

Ameena Al-Janabi testified through a translator on Monday that her two grandsons were the first to arrive back to the burning house. They then saw that their family members had been killed.

The two grandsons were excellent students, but have refused to go back to school ever since, said the woman.

They “are lost, as if they are not living in this life,” Janabi said.

A cousin, Abid Abu Farras, also reported some effects that the murders had had on the two brothers.
“Their futures are destroyed,” Farras said. “If they had died with their family, they would have been better off.”

After the four witnesses took the stand, the prosecution rested.

The defense called other soldiers to the stand in order to illustrate the craziness that Green’s platoon went through while deployed in the Mahmoudiya area of Iraq, south of Baghdad.

The four other soldiers involved are in prison due to their participation and cover-up afterwards.

Private First Class James Barker, Sgt. Paul Cortez, Private First Class Jesse Spielman and Private First Class Bryan Howard received sentences in prison that ranged from 27 months to 110 years. For the most severe cases there is a possibility of parole in 10 years.

A military court was where the conviction and sentencing occurred.

Green may just make history by becoming the first former U.S. soldier to face the death penalty for war crimes before a civilian court. This is because Green was discharged from the military before the war crimes were known.

The Iraqi public was mortified and livid when the killings came to light and Iraqi officials demanded that American soldiers accused of crimes against civilians face prosecution in Iraqi courts. U.S. military and civilian officials said that they understand the severity of the attacks, and vowed to bring justice to those responsible.

 

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