A Tale Of Two Court Verdicts

A military tribunal found Sgt. Christopher Shore guilty of the crime of aggravated assault in the killing of an Iraqi man and sentenced him to 120 days in jail. He was found not guilty of the more serious crime of third-degree murder. Mike Waddington, lawyer for Shore, believes the sentence reflected “his demonstrated bravery and excellent characteristics as a soldier.” While in combat, Shore was ordered by his platoon leader to finish off an Iraqi man. Shore claims he deliberately fired to miss, but the prosecution pointed out other soldiers in his platoon simply walked away when ordered to kill the man. Meanwhile, in a court, a US District Court sentenced Army Reserve Major Anthony Calderone to five months in prison for lying about winning medals and wearing them in order to get a promotion.

Hopefully, newspapers in Iraq do not pick up the disparity in these two sentences. Sgt. Shore is right in asserting unless you have walked in his shoes it is difficult to evaluate his actions, but the military prosecutor pointed out other soldiers who walked in his shoes demonstrated other behavior. The war in Iraq has created such complex issues for Americans and undoubtedly results in eliciting contradictory court punishments for military actions.