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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:23 PM
Original message
Blackwater Guards Could Get 30 Years
Source: CBS NEWS

CBS/AP) Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in the deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting of Iraqi civilians could face mandatory 30-year prison sentences under an aggressive anti-drug law being considered as the Justice Department readies indictments, people close to the case said.

Charges could be announced as early as Monday for the shooting, which left 17 civilians dead and strained U.S. relations with the fledgling Iraqi government. Prosecutors have been reviewing a draft indictment and considering manslaughter and assault charges for weeks. A team of prosecutors returned to the grand jury room Thursday and called no witnesses.

Though drugs were not involved in the Blackwater shooting, the Justice Department is pondering the use of a law, passed at the height of the nation's crack epidemic, to prosecute the guards. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 law calls for 30-year prison terms for using machine guns to commit violent crimes of any kind, whether drug-related or not.

This is a big stretch under federal law," said CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen. "And judges, especially appeals court judges, are not always keen on approving the creative ways in which prosecutors go after defendants.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/05/national/main...



I don't see anything happening by this.
Iraq should have been able to try them, but the US had
them over a barrel
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sattahipdeep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Immunity?
Regardless of the charges they bring, prosecutors will have a tough fight. The law is unclear on whether contractors can be charged in the U.S., or anywhere, for crimes committed overseas.

To prosecute, authorities must argue that the guards can be charged under a law meant to cover soldiers and military contractors. Since Blackwater works for the State Department, not the military, it's unclear whether that law applies to its guards.

Prosecutors lost a similar case against former Marine Jose Luis Nazario Jr., who was charged in Riverside, Calif., with killing four unarmed Iraqi detainees.

Further complicating the case, the State Department promised several Blackwater guards limited immunity in exchange for their sworn statements shortly after the shooting. Prosecutors will need to show that they did not rely on those statements in building their case if those guards are charged.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jtLfZ...
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. duplicate topic
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