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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
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.
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".
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 toCNN.
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.
Severino, homers lead Yankees past Reds 9-5
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Moto Z2 Force With Shatter Proof Glass Launched
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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.