Friday, February 23, 2007

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To 100 Years (But Will Be Out in 10) in Rape/Murder of Iraqi Girl and Her Family

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Jeralyn on the sentencing of Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, one of the men who gang-raped and then murdered a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, in an atrocity that included the murder of the girl's entire family:

100 Years in Prison, Not Really, For Soldier in Iraqi Rape, Murder
What a great headline for the Administration. One of the soldiers who raped an Iraqi girl and killed her and her family (background here) is sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Read the fine print. He's eligible for parole in ten years.

That was a part of his plea bargain agreement. If it helps get convictions and maximum sentences for Cortez's co-conspirators, maybe it's worth it on that level.

Cortez made the following statement at his sentencing:

Earlier Thursday, tears rolled down Sergeant Cortez’s face as he apologized for the rape and murders. He said he could not explain why he had taken part.

“I still don’t have an answer,” he told the judge. “I don’t know why. I wish I hadn’t. The lives of four innocent people were taken. I want to apologize for all of the pain and suffering I have caused.”

Jeralyn says she doesn't feel sorry for him. I certainly have no bone to pick with that sentiment. Yet, I do feel pity for him. Maybe it's that Molly Ivins "liberal hearts gotta bleed" thing. If Cortez's remorse is real, and not just the "tears of a captured thief," then he's got to live with that for the rest of his life. I can imagine what that might feel like; I can feel empathy for him as a human being on that level. And yes, I do think that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and all the rest of the war criminals who, out of greed and lust for power, put men like Cortez in that indefensible war to begin with, should be serving life sentences right alongside him.

That does not mean it's right or just that Cortez will probably be a free man in 10 years. He did what he did, and feeling sorry he did it now -- no matter how profound his regrets are -- does not change that reality. He has to pay for what he did.

No comments: