The murder of sixteen innocent civilians in Afghanistan has raised issues concerning the process of trial, jury, and outcomes. Under military law, the defendant must have a court hearing within 48 hours. Apparently, the suspect, a 38 year old soldier already has gone through this process. It has been decided the case warrants a trial. As of this point, his name is being withheld in order to ensure safety of his own family. Undoubtedly, there will be terrorists who would like to seek revenge on the sergeant’s family.
Some problems already have arisen. The bodies were buried under Muslim law rather quickly which makes difficult any form of autopsy on the bodies. An investigation of the crime scene will be difficult since the Taliban has sworn revenge and would be willing to kill anyone investigating the crime scene.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has raised the issue of death sentence which would require a 12 person jury. All we know at this point is the sergeant is 38 years old, has a family and was trained as a sniper.