Attorneys for Army soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi teenager and killing her and her family in March are planning to argue that the men were under extreme emotional distress because of the horrors of their combat assignment and will probably challenge the alleged confessions some of the soldiers gave to investigators in Iraq. David Sheldon, a civilian lawyer who is representing Spec. James P. Barker, said yesterday that B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment was devastated by numerous combat casualties and repeated violent attacks in and around Mahmudiyah before and after a group of soldiers allegedly attacked the Iraqi family March 12. Sheldon said the men were placed at a traffic checkpoint "in one of the most stressful environments imaginable" and that commanders failed to recognize the damage that was being done to the soldiers.I hope nobody buys this defense. Rape should never be accepted as a valid stress reliever. Neither should premeditated murder.
If anybody does buy this defense then Iraqi insurgents who murder Americans (soldiers, reporters, contract workers, etc) and their fellow Iraqi civilians can claim the same defense since having your home country invaded causes extreme emotional distress.
We'd have to call it Shock-And-Awe syndrome.
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