US Army seeks death penalty for soldier
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales accused of killing Afghan villagers
- Duration 5:39
- Date Dec 28, 2012
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales accused of killing Afghan villagers
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-- new information about the US soldier accused of killing sixteen Afghan villagers and a predawn Rampage the US army is now saying it will seek the death penalty.
Against staff sergeant Robert -- -- faces premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on those two villages that left.
16 people dead among the women and children in southern Afghanistan and that happened back in March.
The -- troops such angry protest in that country.
The US temporarily halted combat operations there.
-- attorney says his client should not face the death penalty because he was serving his fourth deployment in a war zone.
He's -- for court martial at joint base Lewis McCord in Washington State ahead of that -- let's talk about it with our -- Dan -- A former prosecutor Dan good to have you back thanks for having me the first I want to start with what the defense team is saying multiple deployments of defense why.
They're saying that because of multiple deployments -- -- post traumatic stress disorder.
Which is a tragic.
Some disease that many military people are suffering from and it's very legitimate and we need more mental health services to help our soldiers who are facing multiple deployments.
And mental health issues however that's not in any way -- mitigating factor.
For the mass murder that is alleged here where sixteen people were murdered without provocation so I don't -- that's -- successful mitigation here.
Well and -- what you're doing Q I think you're kind of playing to roles for us today here your prosecutor in your defense are also talking another case.
That the prosecution which in this case is the United States against sergeant fails.
House and its case tell me why you think it's solid or maybe not what what it might be missing.
We allegations here that he went to two different villages and opened fire on innocent people including.
Multiple children and that sixteen people were killed there is DNA evidence linking him to the scene he was seen coming back to the base with blood on him.
There were eyewitness accounts.
There's also statements he made that seemed to be confessions.
Now the military law says that you have to look at whether there's premeditation which there seems to be here.
Whether there's aggravating circumstances such as mass murder for the killing of children which there were.
And then you look at whether there's mitigating factors which the defense is saying there is in the form out.
Posttraumatic stress disorder which is very legitimate need more mental health services.
-- excuse me to help people who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder however it's not in my opinion a mitigating factor when you deal with the murder of so many people.
All right so you've given us the two sides there of this case if you need to take a quick turn -- water go ahead because now I want to move on to something else the US military.
Has not executed anyone since 1961.
And -- case meets the requirements based on what you just said for the military to consider putting him to death but you know -- So -- another case and we're not seeing this kind of movement on that one I'm talking about the Fort Hood shootings and the accused mass killer.
Major Nadal Hasan he killed thirteen Americans on that army base in Texas it's been two and a half years.
Will we see the death penalty against a better question will we see any charges against him.
Well certainly he's being prosecuted and there's court proceedings that are going on it was just an appeals decision about whether he can.
Actually have a year during his trial and he will be prosecuted for murder there if there's ever going to be a case where so much should be prosecuted and the death penalty is used.
It certainly would fit it this is pre meditated this is calculated.
And you had multiple people killed.
Here all right.
So we'll have to see what happens next -- that avenue judge in this case and that's cost more delays to -- it's set to get going again in February we of course we'll follow both cases -- viewers.
A quick topics change in topic change it again with you -- because there's some news that's breaking this morning we're expecting a vote to come.
And the senate on the surveillance -- this country it was put forth in 1978.
Its -- renewed.
They're looking at renewing it again.
But there's been a lot of argument on the senate.
War what is the problem with us well there's a lot of legitimate concerns that there's not a lot of oversight over spies -- amendments which are able to.
Look at foreigners who may be doing harm to this country but and communications by Americans.
Are also -- emails.
Other communications and people legitimately feel that there should be more oversight we should know how to by the court work we should know how many American communications are actually looked at.
By the government and people want amendments unfortunately.
Congress once again is acting at the last minute yeah trying to -- something that's about to expire.
And there's probably not the time to do the revisions that are necessary and that that's a problem here.
Because critics want this to be revised did you just put it the White House doesn't it wanted to pass the way it is and there are a lot of people who were in favor of at me because they say it's helping to keep us safe.
Since there is homegrown terror in the United States and we need to find it.
I want to if we have the words put it up on the screen Kentucky senator Rand Paul have this to say on the senate floor yesterday.
And what he was basically saying is that this interferes.
Of the Fourth Amendment -- and that it needs to be changed but again -- you say we may not see any changes to it because the deadline is Tuesday.
It's really important to note that even the supporters of renewing acknowledge that there needs to be reformed their needs to be more oversight.
We need to know more about how to fight -- court works you want more protections for privacy rights but the supporters are saying there's not enough time.
And then there's a questionable why is congress waiting until the last minute at the end of the year to -- something that even the supporters admit needs to be revised its a problem we see in congress on many issues including the fiscal cliff where they wait -- the last minute now many say there's not enough time to -- the real reforms.
That are necessary here.
Well they did take time away from the fiscal cliff to debate this report half hour yesterday that's just so there is that the right -- sure thank you very much thanks having me.