MikeN wrote:Too bad he didn't live in Florida- he could have claimed self-defense when he shot those unarmed kids, and walked.
Gary Solis, former head of the Marine Corps’ Military Law Branch and current adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law School, said the fact that the crime occurred in a combat zone in a distant country complicates the task for prosecutors, who are expected to charge Bales with premeditated murder and other crimes.
Army Sgt. Robert Bales' lawyer questions evidence in Afghanistan killings
To convict Bales of that charge, prosecutors would have to prove that people died, the means by which they died, that the accused is the person who used those means and had premeditated the offense, Solis said.
That would be no easy feat, given the possibility of numerous crime scene complications, he said.
“The prosecution is under additional burden in that they’re trying a crime that happened … 9,000 miles away,” he said. “They have no bodies, they have no autopsies, they have no forensics, they have no photographs, they have no witnesses. There is no Afghan who is going to come here to testify against this guy, so how do they prove premeditation? It’s going to be a problem for them.”
Daniel Conway, a lawyer and former Marine staff sergeant who has been involved in battlefield investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan of alleged crimes by U.S. soldiers, said prosecuting Bales will be “exceptionally difficult.” Even establishing him as the gunman could be problematic, he said.
“It still remains to be seen whether any of these Afghan local nationals can actually identify Bales as the shooter,” he said. “Now there’s going to be some real linguistic divides here in terms of people’s … ability to communicate what they saw but you may very well have the potential down the road for a defense that he didn’t do it.”