Charles Graner: Admits Criminal Activity, Gets 10 Years
The jury has sentenced Charles Graner to ten years in prison. He leaves court, in shackles, still smiling.
Parole and clemency are available to Graner, to be determined by the Army Clemency and Parole Board. Regulations as of 1998 are available here (pdf.) For sentences betweeen 10 and 20 years, the prisoner comes up for parole after two years and is reviewed every year thereafter. Guidelines seem to suggest he would not be paroled before serving 1/3 of his sentence. The criteria or salient factors for parole are in section 3-2.
Bump and Update: Graner admitted criminal behavior in his testimony today.
"I didn't enjoy anything I did there. A lot of it was wrong, a lot of it was criminal," said Graner, 36, the first soldier to go on trial in the abuse case.
The jury is now deliberating. Graner's 3 hour testimony was not subject to cross-examination:
Graner spoke for nearly three hours as an "unsworn statement," meaning he was not subject to cross-examination by prosecutors. He did not testify during the 4 1/2-day trial.
Army Spc. Charles Graner testified in the sentencing portion of his Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse trial this morning and provided this explanation:
Graner described himself as a by-the-book prison guard from rural Pennsylvania who was corrupted by superiors. He said he initially resisted pressure to physically mistreat and sexually humiliate prisoners, but his Army superiors made it clear to him that he was expected to obey the commands of the military and civilian intelligence agents who ran his part of Abu Ghraib. Graner said a lieutenant in his unit told him, "If (military intelligence) asks you to do this, it needs to be done. They're in charge, follow their orders."
In order for him to have relied on orders from above as a defense to the charges, Graner would have had to establish that he believed they were lawful orders. If he believed that, he would have testified at the guilt phase. So...is he conceding he knew the orders were unlawful but he followed them anyway? We'll keep monitoring the reports of his testimony and update. Reuters here.
|< Coming Soon: National ID Card | Tsunami Celebrity Aid Benefit Tonight on NBC >|