Iraqis Outraged as Haditha Massacre Trial Ends in No Jail Time for Accused Marines

The last of the U.S. marines charged in the 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, received no jail time after he pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty and avoiding charges of involuntary manslaughter. Under his sentencing, Wuterich now faces a maximum penalty of a demotion to the rank of private. The victims, including women and children, were killed when the marines burst into their homes and shot them dead in their nightclothes. Wuterich allegedly led the Haditha massacre and was the last defendant to face charges. Six other marines have had their charges dropped or dismissed, while another soldier was acquitted. “[Iraqi] outrage is perfectly understandable,” says Tim McGirk, the Time magazine reporter who broke the story on the Haditha massacre. “Here is a case where so many Iraqis were killed, women and children, old men, and yet what’s happened? Most of the charges have been dismissed, and Wuterich was basically given a slap on the wrist.”

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