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January 24, 2006

Army Interrogator Welshofer Convicted of Negligent Homicide...

...gets a reprimand, 60 days restriction, and a $6K fine? I would note that he's also (at this point, depending on Major General Mixon's review) a convicted felon. MG Mixon can reduce the penalty or set-aside the conviction, but not make it worse.

But that's a pretty light sentence for the charged crime.

Having sat on a Courts Martial panel that did something similar (convicted reluctantly, assessed a $1 fine) my gut feel (and that's all it is, I have *no* inside info at all) is the panel strongly feels this never should have made it to a Court, but should have been handled administratively.

In other words, the extenuating and mitigating circumstances presented by the defense were overwhelming (as they were in the case I sat on) but - the panel, in the end, felt compelled to convict, because at some point, Welshofer could have stopped it himself. But the panel didn't want Welshofer to be the complete scapegoat here when there are others up the chain who should also suffer professionally, if not criminally. That's how I read the otherwise rather surprising verdict.