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Steven Green Trial Goes To Jury Deliberation (Iraq rape/murder)

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:08 PM
Original message
Steven Green Trial Goes To Jury Deliberation (Iraq rape/murder)
Edited on Wed May-06-09 02:08 PM by uppityperson
Source: HuffPost

As former U.S. Army Private First Class Steven Dale Green waits at the defendant's table in a Paducah, Kentucky federal courthouse, on trial for his life, his face is notably expressionless. He is a slender young man with close-cropped hair, an aquiline face and a habit of lightly tapping his pen alternately against his right ear and his mouth. Green spent his 24th birthday, May 2, 2009, in this room facing 17 counts of gang-rape and multiple murder, and days have passed with polite, quiet jurors in middle class clothes sitting in two rows adjacent to him, listening intently to witnesses or staring attentively into individual computer screens when visuals appear. On May 5, Green, having never taken the stand, watched the last defense witnesses testify, leaning forward briefly to put his head on the table toward the end. Apart from a radio operator who explained communications acronyms, his visibly traumatized 101st Airborne Division buddies dominated the witness pool, speaking of months with only four hours of sleep a night, seeing friends and commanders blown apart and killed, and expecting to die themselves.

As General Ray Odierno noted in a 60 Minutes tape played by the defense, in 2007 Baghdad and the area to its southwest would be patrolled by 30,000 U.S. troops; but back in 2006, one thousand troops were trying to do the same job. The witnesses said that the family whom Green and the other four soldiers had slaughtered were Iraqi; that combatants and non-combatanbts were indistingishable; or as one said with what sounded like bewildered accusation, "they look just like me and you," they were "all out to get us."

The military command does not buy the "war made me do it" gambit. Four of Green's co-conspirators have been convicted by military tribunal and put away -- for 110 years in one case, and two of the convicted ones were here testifying against Green. Yet Green -- who bragged about his part in the premeditated gang rape and multiple murders to an Army officer, enlisted men, and a stateside friend -- has pled "not guilty." Unlike the others, Green is being tried in a civilian court, where jurors might be more sympathetic; but he could, if he loses, get the death penalty. The crimes in question were committed in a family home outside the desert hamlet Yusufiyah near the town al-Malmudiyah southwest of the sprawling city of Baghdad, Iraq. Yet Steve Green is being tried in Paducah, a subtropical town 7,000 miles away, near the Airborne's home base of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, U.S.A.

(clip)

(Fourteen-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi)

While Specialist James Barker pinned a terrified Abeer down, Green shoved her parents and six-year-old sister Hadeel at gunpoint into a room with him and shut the door. As the mother Fakhriya Taha Muhasen and the father Qassim Hamza Raheem huddled in a corner trying to shield Hadeel, they could hear Abeer as Sargeant Paul Cortez raped her, and Aber could hear her family as Green shot and killed her parents and little sister with bursts from an AK47. He then re-entered the main room where she was, threw the AK47 down, raped Abeer, and standing up from doing it, put a pillow over her face and killed her with shotgun blasts. The soldiers used kerosene to set the lower part of her dead body on fire, and after they left, flames caught the house, bringing the family's relatives who saw the smoke then the bodies. They ran to the U.S. checkpoint for help, but two of the killers who were among the U.S. troops responding managed to blame the slaughter on "insurgents." ...(much more at link)


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gail-mcgowan-mellor/steve...



RIP Abeer, Hadeel, Farkhiya, Qassim, Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Lowell Tucker. May justice be done today.
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Psychic Consortium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Abeer you are in our hearts, we pray for justice for you and your family.
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morffin Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Rush will tell you
They were just blowing off a little steam...nothing that doesnt happen at a frat party.
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iandhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. I am against the Death Penalty
but this lock this bastard up and throw away the key
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iandhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. Federal Court?
Why is this not a military court marshal why is it in Federal Court.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. He was discharged after the crime, sent back home.
Edited on Wed May-06-09 02:25 PM by uppityperson
There was dispute whether or not he should have been tried in fed court, but they ended up doing it this way due to some law for people who were in military, now civilian world. The defendant's lawyers seemed to be most concerned about the death penalty part, not disputing the allegations when asking for military trial.
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iandhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. he wanted a millitary trail
The article said that people in civilian court might be more sympathetic
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. just posted another story with this line...and other links to other things on it
"Green was tried in a civilian court because he had been discharged from the army prior to charges being filed in the case."

From reading what was presented, and reading the multiple docs that were filed pre-trial, it looks like the defense was not saying he didn't do it, but "mitigating circumstances". It looks like they wanted military trial since there would be no death penalty clause.

Links to other posts I've done about it, with other info
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

documents on docket
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. another article, with line as to why fed court vs military...
Green, 24, of Midland, Texas, is being prosecuted in a federal court in Kentucky because he was deployed from Fort Campbell and because he was discharged from the Army before his alleged role in the crimes were discovered.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090506/NEWS01/...
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Military will be eligible for parole in 10 yrs. Fed court, never eligible
I am reading through more court filed papers. This is in 221. http://www.kywd.uscourts.gov/3-06-00230/DocketSheet.htm

http://www.kywd.uscourts.gov/3-06-00230/MultipleDocumen...

Unwarranted Disparity in Penalties Sought and Imposed
Sgt. Paul Cortez, Spec. James Barker, and PFC Jesse Spielman, persons equally or
more culpable in the offenses charged, will not face the death penalty for their involvement
in the murders charged herein. Indeed, the United States did not even seek the death penalty
against these co-defendants. Instead, the United States imposed on each of these equally or

PFC 1 Spielman was found guilty of felony murder, rape, conspiracy to commit rape, and
housebreaking. He was sentenced to 110 years custody in a military prison. He will be eligible
for parole in 10 years. Spc. Barker pled guilty to premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit
rape, and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 90 years custody in a military prison. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

Sgt. Cortez pled guilty to four counts of felony murder,rape, conspiracy to commit rape, housebreaking, and violating a general order. He was sentenced to 100 years custody in a military prison. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years. more culpable co-defendants sentences that will make each of them eligible for parole in 10 years.1 The minimum sentence

PFC Green can receive in this case is a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release. He will never be eligible for parole.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. Jury out in case of US soldier accused of Iraq rape, killings
Edited on Wed May-06-09 02:32 PM by uppityperson
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iv6N...
PADUCAH, Kentucky (AFP) A US federal jury deliberated Wednesday on whether ex-soldier Steven Dale Green was guilty of raping an Iraqi teenager, and then executing her and her family. Prosecuting attorney Marisa Ford told jurors during closing arguments that the grueling conditions and tragic losses suffered by his unit, Bravo Company, in no way excused the rape of Abeer al-Janabi,14, and the murders of her and her family in their home south of Baghdad on March 12, 2006.

"The evidence in this case suggests the defendant was acting purposefully and intentionally with full knowledge of what he was doing," Ford said. She said Green and other soldiers changed their clothes and disguised their appearance to throw suspicion on insurgents. They then burned Abeer's body to hide trace evidence and burned their own clothes to destroy anything that might link them to the crime, she said. "This was a planned, premeditated crime which was carried out in cold blood," Ford told the jurors. But Green's defense attorney Scott Wendelsdorf told jurors that the stresses of war had left Green a broken man in a strange world. "Madness. Madness. That's the only possible word," he told them. In his closing argument, Wendelsdorf blamed the crime on the lack of leadership at Traffic Checkpoint 2, where Green served with the other soldiers involved in the crimes at the al-Janabi home. "They didn't come there as criminals," he said. "They were made criminals at TCP 2."

He noted that Green had been diagnosed as having Combat Operational Stress Disorder three months before the attack, and contended that former private first class James Barker and former specialist Paul Cortez took advantage of Green's mental condition to carry out the crimes. "In a real sense, Green was not the triggerman," Wendelsdorf said. "Green was the weapon." Wendelsdorf reminded the jury that Green, 23, could get the death penalty if convicted. Green was tried in a civilian court because he had been discharged from the army prior to charges being filed in the case.

Jurors last week heard the stories of Cortez and Barker, both of whom admitted to going to the al-Janabi family home with Green. They are serving 100 and 90 year prison sentences, respectively, for their roles in the brutal attack. The pair said they were in one room of the home trying to rape Abeer al-Janabi while Green was in the other room with her six-year-old sister and her mother and father. They said gunshots rang out and when they went to investigate, they discovered that Green had killed the three. Cortez testified that Green proceeded to rape Abeer al-Janabi. He said Green then put a pillow over the girl's face and shot her three times with an AK-47.
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Old Coot Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
10. He is a sociopath.
"Green was honorably discharged from the military "due to antisocial personality disorder but before the military was aware of the incident.""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_D._Green
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. However, he did brag of it before being discharged.
Edited on Wed May-06-09 03:08 PM by uppityperson
Link in OP: "Yet Green -- who bragged about his part in the premeditated gang rape and multiple murders to an Army officer, enlisted men, and a stateside friend"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gail-mcgowan-mellor/steve...
"
Abeer's two younger brothers, surviving because they had been at school, came home to find their house burned, their family dead and blood and brains all over the walls. The killers meanwhile celebrated with a barbeque. Green bragged to anyone who would listen about what he had done, including an officer. Yet Green, unpunished, was honorably discharged with a diagnosis of "antisocial psychiatric disorder."

Al Qaeda in Iraq soon after the gang rape and murders attacked a Yusufiyah checkpoint, killing one and kidnapping two members of the 101st Airborne--Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Lowell Tucker. They had not been involved in nthe crimes. Al-Qaeda operatives tortured the two captured U.S. soldiers, beheaded them, then while videotaping drug the bodies through the streets, set them on fire, stomped on Menchaca's head, displayed Tucker's head like a prize, then kicked it. Al-Qaida put those videotapes on the web, where they briefly remained. As grief counselors tended to an Airborne battalion overwhelmed by those losses on top of so many others, a soldier blurted out details of the deaths of Abeer, her parents and sister. U.S. Government action was suddenly swift."
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Old Coot Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yes, he did brag about it.
However, mentally ill or not, he needs to removed from society forever.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I agree. Those superiors he told, who blew it off, need to be held
responsible for turning him loose back home, also.

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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
15. Send him to hard labor for the rest of his miserable and worthless life!
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