Robert Bales gets life, no parole for Afghan rampage
On Friday, a military jury decided U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will get life in prison without parole for killing 16 Afghan villagers, CNN reported.
Yet victims left behind -- some bearing physical scars, others with emotional ones from seeing their kin indiscriminately, brutally gunned down -- say that, with that sentence, they don't feel they got justice.
Friday's decision was not entirely unexpected. In June Bales' pleaded guilty to more than 30 criminal charges, including 16 premeditated murder counts, spared himself from the prospect of a death sentence. He also pleaded guilty to charges related to illicit steroid and alcohol use.
But it still remained up to a jury of four officers and two enlisted personnel to decide whether Bales should be eligible for parole.
They decided Friday he is not, according to Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield with Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That means the 39-year-old will spend the rest of his life in a military prison.
That's not punishment enough for Haji Wazir. Now 40, Wazir was inside his home in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province in the pre-dawn hours of March 11, 2012, when Bales barged in.
What followed was a nightmare, ending with bloodied, limp and in some instances scorched bodies.
"We wanted this murderer to be executed, but we didn't get our wish," Wazir said through an interpreter Friday from the Washington state U.S. Army base where the sentence was handed down.
The sentence was not just, he added, before appealing to the U.S public to put themselves in his shoes.