Trump Announces Pardons for US Soldiers Accused of War Crimes

US

US President Donald Trump has moved to issue at least two pardons to US military service members involved in multiple cases associated with charges of war crimes.

The commander-in-chief granted Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn and Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance clemency and restored the rank of Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher early Friday evening, according to the Washington Post.

Golsteyn’s lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse, told the Post that his client would receive a full pardon in his murder trial that stems from the 2010 death of a suspected Taliban bomb-maker. The investigation was initially launched in 2011 after the service member disclosed during a CIA polygraph test that he murdered someone and torched their body while deployed. 

“We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” Trump said of Golsteyn on Twitter last month. 

Before the news of clemency, Golsteyn’s court date had been scheduled for February 2020. 

Lorance has been serving a 19-year sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, since he was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013 for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three Afghan men. 

“He has served more than six years of a 19-year sentence he received. Many Americans have sought executive clemency for Lorance, including 124,000 people who have signed a petition to the White House, as well as several members of…

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