December 19, 2012 in Nation/World

Lawyer: Army death-penalty decision irresponsible

Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ lawyer says the Army’s decision to seek the death penalty against his client for a massacre in Afghanistan in March is “totally irresponsible.”

Attorney John Henry Browne tells The Associated Press that the Army is simply trying to take the focus off its own failings in sending soldiers into war zones when they have already done multiple deployments and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Browne says nothing would be served by executing Bales, who was serving his fourth deployment. Prosecutors say Bales killed 16 civilians March 11 during predawn raids on two villages.

No date has been set for his court martial, which will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle.

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