A US soldier who pleaded guilty to the murders of three Afghan civilians has been sentenced to 24 years in prison after saying \”the plan was to kill people\” in a conspiracy with four fellow soldiers.
The military judge said he initially intended to sentence Jeremy Morlock to life in prison with possibility of parole but was bound by the plea deal.
I think I\’d make an exception here.
No, not because the murder of Afghan citizens is worse than the murder of anyone else. But because he was a soldier. Something which carries with it certain liberties (you get to kill bad guys and are praised for it), certain excuses (killing people by mistake is excused) but also certain duties (you only get to kill bad guys or make mistakes).
Actively going out to kill people for the fun of it is worse when done by a soldier than when done by anyone else.
For, among other things (leaving morals entirely to one side), the reason that it endangers all of your fellow soldiers by mightily pissing off all the relatives, friends, and possibly half the nation, of those you have just murdered.
Therefore I would hang him and his buddies.
For reasons of state even if not for reasons of natural justice.
Military law is notably harsher than civilian in cases of rape for example, for much the same reason.