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Archive for Friday, May 22, 2009

Ex-soldier spared death sentence for murders

May 22, 2009

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— An ex-soldier convicted of raping and killing an Iraqi teen and murdering her family was spared the death penalty Thursday after jurors couldn’t agree on a punishment for the brutal crime.

Steven Dale Green, 24, of Midland, Texas, will instead serve a life sentence in a case that has drawn attention to the emotional and psychological strains on soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In March 2006, after an afternoon of card playing, sex talk and drinking Iraqi whiskey, Pfc. Green and three other soldiers went to the home of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi near Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. Green shot and killed the teen’s mother, father and sister, then became the third soldier to rape the girl before shooting her in the face. Her body was then set on fire.

Federal jurors who convicted Green of rape and murder on May 7 told the judge they couldn’t agree on the appropriate sentence after deliberating for more than 10 hours over two days. Their choices were a death sentence or life in prison without parole. Since they could not unanimously agree on either sentence, life in prison had to be the verdict.

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