US soldier fatally shot Afghanistan detainee

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On October 17, 2010, Pfc. David Lawrence shot and killed senior Taliban leader Mullah Muhibullah. US forces detained Muhibullah in Kandahar province on October 16, 2011, and he was found dead in his holding cell the following night. After the shooting, two psychological evaluations reached conflicting results concerning Lawrence's mental competence — the first evaluation concluded Lawrence had a serious mental disability but the second found he could comprehend the "wrongfulness" of his actions in spite of any disability. On May 25, 2011, Lawrence pleaded guilty to premeditated murder. He was sentenced to life in prison and dishonorably discharged from the US Army at the lowest possible rank.

Learn more about laws governing war crimes and the legal consequences of US military action in Afghanistan from the JURIST news archive.

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