Did our President make the right move here?
If you ask the Internet, it’s a resounding YES!
Here’s the quick summary, from LaCorte News:
The White House announced Monday that President Donald Trump has granted a full pardon to a former U.S. soldier who was charged and convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner that he claimed was in self-defense, NBC News reported.
The pardon: White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump has signed an executive grant of clemency, or full pardon, for former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, of Oklahoma.
Behenna was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder for killing a suspected Al Qaeda prisoner in 2008 in retaliation for an explosion that killed two of Behenna’s soldiers.
Behenna was paroled in 2014 and would’ve remained on parole until 2024 had President Trump not pardoned him.
President Trump has granted a full pardon to former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted by a military court in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner suspected of being part of al-Qaida. Behenna was initially sentenced to 25 years; he was released on parole in 2014.
Behenna, 35, was found guilty of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone for shooting Ali Mansur Mohamed in 2008. He said he acted in self-defense, and as the White House announced his pardon, it also said a U.S. Army appellate court had "noted concern about how the trial court had handled Mr. Behenna's claim of self-defense."
Mansur was killed during questioning about a roadside explosion that had killed members of a platoon under Behenna's command. In military court and in an interview last year, Behenna acknowledged that he had decided to question Mansur on his own, weeks after the Iraqi was initially released because of a lack of direct evidence that could tie him to the explosion.
Mansur was naked when he was shot; Behenna said the prisoner had tried to take his weapon. In his legal appeal, he also said that during the trial, prosecutors had withheld evidence from his defense attorneys.The push to pardon Behenna, an Oklahoma native, was taken up by the most powerful politicians in his home state. Members of Congress offered their support, as did former Gov. Mary Fallin and state Attorney General Mike Hunter — who repeatedly asked Trump to pardon Behenna.
Hunter welcomed news of the pardon, issuing a statement that read, "Behenna served his country with distinction, honor and sacrifice. He has admitted to his mistakes, has learned from them and deserves to move on from this incident without living under its cloud for the rest of his life."
Behenna's family has worked vigorously on his behalf — and they are well-positioned to do so, with deep ties to law enforcement and the legal system. His father, Scott Behenna, has worked for both the FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. His mother, Vicki Behenna, is an attorney and former longtime federal prosecutor in Oklahoma City who has led the charge to help her son — first to win parole and then to gain a presidential pardon.
And from NBC News:
President Donald Trump has pardoned a former U.S. soldier convicted in 2009 of killing an Iraqi prisoner, the White House announced Monday.
Trump signed an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, for former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, of Oklahoma, press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a suspected al Qaeda terrorist in Iraq. He was paroled in 2014 and had been scheduled to remain on parole until 2024.
A military court had sentenced Behenna to 25 years in prison. However, the Army's highest appellate court noted concern about how the trial court had handled Behenna's claim of self-defense, Sanders said. The Army Clemency and Parole Board also reduced his sentence to 15 years and paroled him as soon as he was eligible.
Behenna's case attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials and the public, Sanders said. She added that Behenna was a model prisoner while serving his sentence, and "in light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving" of the pardon.
Behenna acknowledged during his trial that instead of taking the prisoner home as he was ordered, he took the man to a railroad culvert, stripped him and then questioned him at gunpoint about a roadside bombing that had killed two members of Behenna's platoon.