Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Additional Charges in Stryker "Kill Team" Case

After a year in which the 5th Stryker Brigade soldiers implicated in the "Kill Team" conspiracy against civilian Afghanis trudged, one by one, to court-martial, yesterday new charges appeared that raise the stakes for one soldier who was previously accused of lesser offenses related to the scandal.  Reuters reports the news:

Staff Sergeant David Bram, 27, was newly charged with a single count each of "solicitation to commit premeditated murder," of "failure to report crimes including murder," and of "planting evidence near the body of an Afghan national."

He also is charged with "unlawfully engaging in murder scenario conversations with subordinates" and with "aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon" on Afghan civilians.

Bram has 5 additional charges pending, including partaking in a plot to assault a fellow soldier whom the others feared would expose the group's illicit drug use during the deployment.

I'd like to see the charge sheet because I don't believe the maximum punishment listed in the Reuters article is correct if the solicitation of which Bram is charged actually led to a murder.  If murder did occur as the result of the solicitation, under Article 82, UCMJ, it seems Bram could face life without the possibility of parole (assuming this is referred as a non-capital case) because that is the maximum punishment for the solicited crime's commission.