In pushing for the death penalty, Prosecutor Marisa Ford reiterated the squad's actions of March 12, 2006. She reminded the jury of how "all four soldiers agreed on the plan, brought weapons and tools to prepare for their mission, and worked to cover up the evidence." She told the jury, "Steven Green failed to live up to his duty, he didn't show mercy to Abeer Al-Janabi, he took away the two orphaned brother's hope for a normal life, and by doing so he lost the honor of calling himself a U.S. soldier; Steven Green doesn't deserve mercy."
The above is from Evan Bright's "Steven Green Sentencing Trial: Platoon Had Dire Mental Health Status" (Huffington Post). Steven D. Green was convicted two Thursdays ago in the gang-rape of 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, her murder, the murder of her five-year-old sister and the murders of both of her parents. Since then, the jury has been hearing testimony they will weigh when determining his sentencing. Green could receive the death penalty; however, all 12 jurors would have to vote to sentence him to death. If that does not happen, he is facing life in prison.
The sentencing hearing resumed yesterday. Dave Alsup (CNN) reports on one defense witness:
Patty Ruth, a Texas elementary school principal, told a civilian jury about Green's childhood as a reader who loved to be hugged by relatives.
"I do not know how we got to this spot," Ruth said in emotional testimony. "I do not know how this happened."
The defense better hope the jury has a better grasp than Patty Ruth or Green will receive the death penalty. AP's Brett Barrouquere adds, "Ruth's testimony in the penalty phase of Green's trial came as the ex-soldier's father, John Green, and an uncle looked on in court." At his website, Evan Bright noted yesterday, "Tuesday(tomorrow): Remaining defense witnesses, if there are any, followed by the Prosecution's one rebuttal witness(an expert/specialist of some kind). There is a "50/50" chance that we will hear closing statements tomorrow, Pat Bouldin allegedly said. If not tomorrow, expect to hear them on Wednesday."
Today's Democracy Now! is a waste during the first two segments (headlines, then interview -- Ava and I have it down as a possibility to tackle this weekend because it's the equivalent of a cheesy B-movie), but the segment after -- not John Legend's Sally Struthers-like Feed-the-children commencement address which is nothing but filler as opposed to providing actual news -- Jeremy Scahill offers some actual news. Scahill's addressing ERF -- Emergency Reaction Force. He's noting how torture continues "under the Obama administration." He cites 16 Guantanamo prisoners on a hunger strike in February being force-fed: ". . . Shove this massive tube down their nose into their stomach and then yank it out." He discusses how ERF beats up prisoners, how Barack's made only "cosmetic changes."
Jeremy's off base when talking about Pelosi. He's bought the media narrative (see Bob Somerby here) that Nancy Pelosi last week 'for the first time' acknowledged something she didn't. Jeremy cheapens his work by claiming to "know" things he doesn't know. He needs to learn to stick to the facts. Had he learned to do that earlier in his career, he wouldn't have made such a fool of himself in 2008 when he thought he and Sammy Power were so much closer than they were. As Carole King once sang, "And that's how you get taken in" ("You Still Want Her," 1979's Touch The Sky).
Remember you got John Legend's bad graduation speech but you didn't get Abeer. Filler. It's as bad as Matt Lauer sitting down with Jennifer Lopez to discuss the Benifer craze on a so-called news program (Dateline). ACLU segment follows the speech. Too bad the show didn't devote the hour to the death penalty and Scahill, actual news.
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