nsucurrent.com
nsucurrent.com October 23, 2017


Court overturns murder conviction over juror wrongdoing

05 August 2017, 12:27 | Colleen Roy

Blackwater guard's murder conviction tossed; mandatory sentences for others found unconstitutional

Blackwater Worldwide security guards Evan Liberty left and Dustin Heard right were convicted of manslaughter in 2014 in the 2007 shooting deaths of Iraqi citizens in Baghdad. On Friday Aug. 4

The incident brought anger at USA involvement in the Middle East to a head, and many objected to the use of private military contracting in the war zone.

Three former colleagues at the private military company who were convicted in the same incident - each earning 30-year sentences - will also be resentenced by an order of the court. Slatten had been sentenced to life in prison.

On Friday, the federal panel threw out that conviction, saying the trial court should have let Slatten be tried separately from his three co-defendants.

"The court concludes that the imposition of the mandatory thirty-year minimum... violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment...."

A spokesman for the USA attorney's office in Washington said prosecutors were still reviewing the decision and had no immediate comment.

By overturning his conviction, the court has forced the Justice Department to decide whether to prosecute again.

It is unclear if Slatten will be retried.




He had faced manslaughter charges, but prosecutors missed a filing deadline in his case and inadvertently let the statute of limitations expire, leaving them with the choice of prosecuting him for murder or dropping the charges.

In overturning the 30-year terms, USA circuit judges Karen LeCraft Henderson and Janice Rogers Brown wrote "we by no means intend to minimize the carnage attributable to Slough, Heard and Liberty's actions".

On Sept. 16, 2007, the guards opened fire with machine guns and grenade launchers in Baghdad's Nisour Square, killing the 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 17 others. "Their poor judgments resulted in the deaths of many innocent people".

The four men were convicted in October 2014. Blackwater claimed the security guards were under attack, but dozens of witnesses traveled from Iraq to testify the guards fired without provocation, according to CNN.

Heard, Liberty, Slatten and Slough worked as security guards for Blackwater, a private security firm under contract with the State Department, in Iraq.

Lamberth commended the US government for "finding and exposing the truth of what happened" after a long and troubled prosecution, saying, it entrusts contractors with deadly weapons and trains them to use them only when necessary and justified by the circumstances.

A former Navy SEAL, its CEO Erik Prince sold off his stake at Blackwater in 2010 following the year-long controversy over the company's operations in Iraq.



Other News

Trending Now

Severino, homers lead Yankees past Reds 9-5
He missed the first 20 games of the season with a shoulder injury and now has 16 homers in 75 games this season. In a small consolation for Frazier, the Yankees did manage to score one run on the play and take a 1-0 lead.

Woman arrested in deadly crash that was livestreamed online
Obdulia Sanchez was driving her sister, Jacqueline Sanchez , and another girl westbound down Henry Miller Road around 6:40 p.m. As for the older sister, she was reportedly uncooperative with police officers and appeared to be highly intoxicated.

Moto Z2 Force With Shatter Proof Glass Launched
The Moto Z2 Force will be available in the United Kingdom later in the year, but no pricing details have yet been announced . Coming to the new Moto 360 Camera , the accessory goes for $299 (approx Rs 19330) and will hit shops globally on August 10.

Softbank reportedly set to make another pass at a Charter-Sprint union
Revenue rose about 2 percent to $8.16 billion, missing the $8.19 billion analysts expected, according to Zacks. A deal is coming, he promised, adding he was "highly encouraged" by early talks with potential partners.

Sales of petrol and diesel cars to be banned by 2040
Although many electric auto owners have charging points at home, it is only possible if they have a driveway close to their house. Brokers see price parity between electric and non -electric vehicles as early as next year when Tesla's ramp-up hits full swing.

Three Killed, Four Wounded In Shooting At Moscow Court
Several people were wounded in a shootout at the Moscow Regional Court in Russian Federation on Tuesday, local media reported. Prosecutors said the gang members placed spikes on roads, forcing motorists out of their vehicles before shooting them dead.

EU 'vigilant' on new US sanctions on Russia
Notably, the new legislation includes restrictive measures against Russian private individuals and separate economic sectors. Embassy spokeswoman Maria Olson could not immediately say how many people had to leave to meet Russia's new requirements.

USS Thunderbolt Fires Warning Shots to Stop Approaching Iranian Vessel
Hostility between the USA and Iran date back to the 1979 Islamic revolution, which overthrew the U.S. -backed monarchy in Tehran. The Cyclone class coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) transits along other PCs during an exercise in the Arabian Gulf.

Vladimir Putin: Russia may 'have to retaliate' against U.S. sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a bilateral solution to this problem to President Trump during the recent G-20 meeting. Trump's concerns include a provision letting Congress stop any effort to ease existing sanctions on Russian Federation .

Sensex, Nifty close at an all-time high
The broader NSE Nifty ended up 0.37 percent at 10,114.65, while the benchmark BSE Sensex closed 0.19 percent higher at 32,575.17. The index ended the day 168 points higher at 11,170, with Apollo Tyres (down 0.19 per cent) as the solitary loser.