A military judge sentenced SPC Jeremy Morlock, the first of the accuseds from the Afghan “kill team” to face court-martial for the deaths of civilian Afghanis, to a dishonorable discharge, life with the possibility of parole, reduction to E-1, and total forfeitures of pay (thanks to caaflog and its readers, at least one of whom was in the courtroom) yesterday. However, due to the provisions of a pretrial agreement Morlock had negotiated in the case, the convening authority can approve no more than 24 years of confinement. Given “good time” credit and the possibility of parole, Morlock will likely serve far less than 24 years.
Apparently, Morlock’s plea agreement is based, in part, on Morlock testifying against his co-accuseds at later courts-martial. Given previous information about Morlock’s mental state at the time of the offenses and conflicting statements, I’m curious to see how effective Morlock’s testimony will be. Of course, having been a prosecutor, I’m well familiar with the fact that you don’t often have the “choir boys” as your star witnesses.
I’ve also found interesting that it appears Morlock had at least 2 high-profile civilian defense counsel representing him, although I’d only seen one in the press until today. Geoffrey Nathan and Frank Spinner represented Morlock at his court-martial. Nathan made some comments about military justice after the sentencing hearing, phrases I’m reasonably certain retired USAF JAG Lieutenant Colonel Spinner didn’t approve.
We’re trying to get a copy of the pretrial agreement in this case, so, if you have access, feel free to send to firstname.lastname@example.org.