Saturday, December 11, 2004

U.S. Soldier Admits Killing Iraqi Teenager

A U.S. soldier on trial in Baghdad for killing a wounded Iraqi teenager has said yes, he did it, but claims it was a "mercy killing." The soldier, Staff Sgt. Johnny Horne, Jr., said the teenager, Qassim Hassan, was too badly injured to live, and Horne wanted to end his suffering. Horne's account was disputed both by other U.S. soldiers who witnessed the killing and by Hassan's family and other Iraqis who were at the scene; many of them said that Hassan was not mortally wounded and could have survived with medical attention. None of the Iraqi witnesses or family members were called to testify at the trial.

In exchange for admitting guilt, Horne won a guarantee that he would not serve more than 10 years in prison for the murder.

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