Afghan Massacre Suspect to Plead Guilty, Avoid Death
Victims' relatives are irate Robert Bales won't face execution
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 30, 2013 2:40 AM CDT
In this Aug. 23, 2011 file photo, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.   (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock)

(Newser) – Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will plead guilty to the murder of 16 Afghan villagers, his lawyer tells CNN, in a move to dodge the death penalty. Lawyer John Henry Browne says military prosecutors have approved the plea, but a rep for Joint Base Lewis-McChord wouldn't say whether the matter was settled, the New York Times reports. A plea hearing is set for Wednesday, the rep said.

Browne says Bales was "crazed" and "broken" at the time of the attack, but he didn't qualify for a legal insanity defense, per the AP. Afghan villagers are furious at the possibility Bales might not face capital punishment. "A prison sentence doesn't mean anything," says a relative of several victims. "I know we have no power now. But I will become stronger, and if he does not hang, I will have my revenge." Added a man who had 11 relatives killed in the attack: "For this one thing, we would kill 100 American soldiers."

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
May 30, 2013 9:53 PM CDT
This guy deserves death.
May 30, 2013 8:03 AM CDT
Sounds like a sadistic criminal who managed to join the army as a scapegoat for his desired actions. Death penalty. how is this not all over the news?? if he were anywhere int he states and did this, this would be ALL over the news for weeks non stop. i haven't even heard about this untill now. He's a sadistic serial killer and america needs to end his life, out of respect fo the judicial system and out of respect for the poor innocent families of the victims. If he does not get dealth penalty, then in my opinion it will appear as if the US government is backing him up. If you're not a part of the soloution, you're a part of the problem.
May 30, 2013 8:00 AM CDT
Dude does the crime but does not want to pay the price! He really deserves death and the plea bargaining process is pure bs and a travesty of justice.