A 72 year old conservative U.S veteran by the name of Herbert Donahue has come into contact with an unlikely ally. Donahue is the head of a group known as the United American Patriots. Their organization has advocated for the pardons of U.S war criminals charged with assaulting or killing civilians. Their unlikely ally is a group of young left wing law students studying at the University of Chicago.
Donahue having served in the army during the Vietnam War, has defend the vets by reason that they are subjected to the orders of Senior officer who don't have experience on the battle field. For example, Donahue and other soldier have to ask for permission to shoot an enemy. After his first patrol Donahue never asked for permission to kill someone unless "he was on a pile of bodies."(Donahue) He describe the current situation of permission before killing as "Requiring a guy to have a lawyer with him in the fox hole."(Donahue) On the other hand the law students at the University of Chicago, are defending these soldiers on the status of their mental states. One soldier they are attempting to pardon for,(Robert Bales) was arrested for killing 16 Iraqi civilians seven of which were children. However, even before he joined the army Bales had experienced PTSD, and the terror on the front line only made it worse. However, the group will not represent criminals with charges such as rape or murder.(Will Bales being a special case.) Henceforth, the two groups have come together, and made the consensus that there are some U.S soldiers who are or were wrongfully imprisoned while serving their country. Thus, they have decided to push President Obama for the pardon of these war criminals.
Personally I do not believe the soldiers should be given a pardon for such a crime. People should not get benefits within the legal justice system just because they have served their country. Unless they proven to be mentally unstable. There are many other soldiers out there who have served their country without committing a crime.
Now given the circumstances do you believe that these soldiers should be pardon? Does the fact that the criminals in question are veterans affect your answer? Why or why not?
Shouldn't the Officers who gave these soldiers the orders to kill innocent civilians be prosecuted as well?
Do you think these two groups working together will make any difference? Why or Why not?