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November 14, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-14

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bA - Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Prosecutors request
death penalty in
Afghan murder case


Accused killer was
an Army sergeant,
killed 16 villagers
McCHORD, Wash. (AP) - Army
prosecutors on Tuesday asked an
investigative officer to recom-
mend a death penalty court-mar-
tial for a staff sergeant accused
of killing 16 Afghan villagers in
a predawn rampage, saying that
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales com-
mitted "heinous and despicable
Prosecutors.made their closing
arguments after a week of testi-
mony in the preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors say Bales, 39, slipped
away from his remote base at
Camp Belambay in southern
Afghanistan to attack two villag-
es early on March 11. Among the
dead were nine children.
The slayings drew such angry
protests that the U.S. temporar-
ily halted combat operations in
Afghanistan, and it was three
weeks before American inves-
tigators could reach the crime
"Terrible, terrible things hap-
pened," said prosecutor Maj. Rob
Stelle. "That is clear."
Stelle cited statements Bales
made after he was apprehended,
saying that they demonstrated
"a clear memory of what he
had done, and consciousness of
Several soldiers testified that
Bales returned to the base alone
just before dawn, covered in
blood, and that he made incrimi-
nating statements such as, "I
thought I was doing the right
An attorney for Bales argued
there's not enough information
to move forward with the court-
"There are a number of
questions that have not been
answered so far in this investi-
gation," attorney Emma Scan-
lan told the investigating officer

overseeing the preliminary hear-
Scanlan said that it's still
unknown what Bales' state of
mind was the evening of the kill-
An Army criminal investiga-
tions command special agent
had testified last week that Bales
tested positive for steroids three
days after the killings, and other
soldiers testified that Bales had
been drinking the evening of the
"We've heard that Sgt. Bales
was lucid, coherent and respon-
sive," Scanlan said in her closing
argument. "We don't know what
it means to be on alcohol, ste-
roids and sleeping aids."
The investigating officer said
Tuesday that he would have a
written recommendation by the
end of the week, but that is just
the start of the process. That
recommendation goes next to
the brigade command, and the
ultimate decision would be made
by the three-star general on the
base. There's no clear sense of
how long that could take before
a decision is reached on whether
to proceed to a court-martial
If a court-martial takes place,
it will be held at Joint Base Lew-
is-McChord, the Washington
state base south of Seattle, and
witnesses will be flown in from
The military hasn't executed
a service member since 1961, and'
none of the six men on death row
at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., today
were convicted for atrocities
against foreign civilians. All of
their crimes involved the killing
of U.S. civilians or fellow service
In the most recent high-
profile case at Joint Base Lew-
is-McChord before Bales, the
Army did not seek a death pen-
alty court-martial against five
soldiers accused of killing three
Afghan civilians for sport. In
that case, the ringleader was sen-
tenced to life in prison with pos-

sibility of parole.
Bales faces 16 counts of pre-
meditated murder and six counts
of attempted murder. The pre-
liminary hearing, which began
Nov. 5, included nighttime ses-
sions on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday for the convenience of
the Afghan witnesses. Bales did
not testify.
The witnesses included a
7-year-old girl, who described
how she hid behind her father
when a gunman came to their vil-
lage that night, how the stranger
fired, and how her father died,
cursing in pain and anger.
None of the Afghan witnesses
were able to identify Bales as
the shooter, but other evidence,
includingtests of the blood on his
clothes, implicated him, accord-
ing to testimony from a DNA
After the hearing concluded,
Scanlan spoke with report-
ers, saying that in addition to
questions about Bales' state of
mind, there are still questions of
whether there were more people
During testimony, a special
agent testified that months after
the killings, she was able to inter-
view the wife of one of the vic-
tims, who recounted having seen
two U.S. soldiers. Later, however,
the woman's brother-in-law,
Mullah Baraan, who was not
presentat the shootings, testified
that the woman says there was
only one shooter. The woman

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Appeals Court Judge Catherine McCabe speaks about careers in environmenal law
in Hutchins Hall on Monday.
Careers ln environmental
law focus of EPAjudge's talk

Catherine McCabe
is a pioneer in
environmental law

to advise students on their
"One of my favorite things
to do now that I am in the later
stages of my career is to talk to
those who are in the early, grow-
ing up stages and seeing what's
on your mind and where you
think you might want to go,"

herself did not testify.
"We need to know
than one person was ou
wire," Scanlan said.
Scanlan also raised
of post-traumatic stre
der and brain injury, n
Bales had received a scr
the traumatic brain inji
at Madigan Army Med
ter during a period of1
the center is under invr
for reversing hundreds
diagnoses of soldiers sit
"We're in the procesr
tigating that," she said.

U.S. Environmental Protec- McCabe said.V
if more tion Agency Appeals Court McCabe didn't only practice
tside that Judge Catherine McCabe was environmental law - she actu-
the most recent guest in the ally helped create the field.
the issue Environmental Law and Policy "I went to law school back in
ss disor- Program's speaker series, which the 1970s to be an environmen-
oting that focuses on careers in environ- tal lawyer," McCabe said of her
eening at mental law. time at Columbia University
ury clinic McCabe discussed her career Law School. "The only problem
ical Cen- as a pioneer in the field of envi- was, when I got there, there
time that ronmental law, beginning in the was only one course on environ-
estigation 1970s, just as environmental mental law. It had hardly been
of PTSD laws were first being enacted. invented."
nce 2007. McCabe used her experience, After gaining experience
s of inves- first as a private lawyer and later in other areas of law, McCabe
as a federal attorney and judge, worked on a landmark environ-
Email: dailydisplay@gmail.com


RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS DOWN 35 Serious hostilities 46 Many a low-
1 Harebrained 1 Winterwear 37 Dissuaded budget film
prank 2"You said it, 38 Racketor rocket 47 Totally square
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entree 4 It might need a 41 Gambling town 52 Correspond
14 End of a series boost on I-80 53 Manya high-
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breeze one 43 Convertible sofa 54 Gameof world
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mental case involving chem-
cal dumping in the Love Canal
neighborhood in Niagara Falls,
N.Y. She also participated in the
creation of The Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Com-
pensation, and Liability Act - a
law passed by Congress in 1980
establishing regulations for
chemical and hazardous waste
McCabe worked for 22 years
in the Environment and Natu-
ral Resources Division of the
U.S. Department of Justice,
and served as Deputy Chief of
the Environmental Enforce-
ment Section from 2001 to
Starting in 2005, she served
for sevenyears as Principal Dep-
uty Assistant Administrator of
the EPA's Office of Enforcement
and Compliance Assurance. She
currently serves on the EPA's
Court of Appeals as one of three
"You are in all sorts of differ-
ent stages," McCabe said. "Won-
dering, A, whether you want a
career in environmental law,
and B, If you want one, how do
you get one."
After tracing her long career
path, McCabe opened the floor
up to questions from the audi-
ence, which included a mix of
first, second and third-year law
Law student Mega Williams
said she came to the seminar to
hear about McCabe's rich expe-
rience in the field.
"I wanted to hear a little bit
more about careers in envi-
ronmental law and I know
that Catherine has had a really
amazing career, or careers, so
that's what I was hoping to hear
about," Williams said.
Because of the recent diffi-
culty law graduates have find-
ing employment, many students
attended to hear more about the
realities of obtaining a job in the
field of environmental law.
Law student Sam Ellingson,
who recently joined the law
school's Environmental Law
Society, said she is concerned
about the competitiveness of the
"I feel like, there is a lim-
ited amount of jobs in the envi-
ronmental sphere in general,"
Ellingson said, adding that she
came to hear advice from
McCabe for law graduates who
want to work in environmental
For students like Ellingson
who are worried about job pros-
pects, McCabe advised students
to create their own opportuni-
ties, as she did.
McCabe pointed out that
students now entering the field
might have more opportunities
since many of her colleagues are
nearing retirement.
"What you have to be is pro-
active," McCabe said. "To be out
there and finding those oppor-
tunities because you don't know
when and where they are going
to come up."

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