Pentagon won’t prosecute GI’s in prisoner death cases

Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 US soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, the NY Times reports March 26.

Investigators had recommended that all 17 soldiers be charged in the cases, according to the accounting by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The charges included murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide. While none of the 17 will face any prosecution, one received a letter of reprimand and another was discharged after the investigations.

To date, the military has taken steps toward prosecuting some three dozen soldiers in connection with a total of 28 confirmed or suspected homicides of detainees. The total number of such deaths is believed to be between 28 and 31.

In one of the three cases in which no charges are to be filed, the
commanders determined the death to be "a result of a series of lawful
applications of force." In the second, the commanders decided not to
prosecute because of a lack of evidence. In the third, they determined
the soldier involved had not been well informed of the rules of
engagement. (See our last blog post on the prosecutions)