Small Wars Journal

Sentences Reduced for 3 Blackwater Guards from 2007 Iraq Massacre

Sentences Reduced for 3 Blackwater Guards from 2007 Iraq Massacre by Ashraf Khalil - Associated Press

A federal judge on Thursday greatly reduced the sentences of three former Blackwater security contractors, in the latest development from a complex case dating back to the 2007 shootings of unarmed civilians in Baghdad.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Paul Slough to 15 years in prison, Evan Liberty to 14 years and Dustin Heard to 12 years and seven months. All three had received 30-year terms in a 2015 trial — a mandatory sentence for the commission of a felony while using a military firearm. A fourth defendant in the same trial, Nicholas Slatten, was sentenced to life in prison.

The case stems from a chaotic 2007 incident when the men's Blackwater unit opened fire at a Baghdad traffic circle, killing 14 unarmed Iraqis and wounding 17. The men all essentially blamed the fog of war, claiming they mistakenly believed they were under attack…

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