This borders on being non-military justice news, but, hey, it’s our blog. News from Iraq is that an Iraqi man was convicted and sentenced to death (two others were acquitted) yesterday for the abduction and murder of two US soldiers from the 101st Airborne., NYT report (via WSJ Law Blog) here and WaPo report here. Head of the Iraqi Law and Order Task Force (LAOTF), Col. Rafael Lara, Jr., was quoted in the WaPo report as saying, “I’m very pleased to see the Iraqi judiciary exercise discretion and the rules of procedure . . . Iraqi courts have taken a good step today.” While I won’t call that faint praise, that wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. Col. Lara also expressed regret that the court did not convict all the defendants. I imagine a fair number of Iraqi prosecutors heard that statement and thought, Pot meet Kettle, Kettle meet Pot (see our coverage of Iraqi civilian killings courts-martial here, here, etc.)
The Iraqi criminal justice system, which to me looks more like the French system, was implemented with the help of many of our readers. I hope today’s verdict is satisfying for you and lets you take some pride in the work you did.