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Update on Two Military Cases

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AP reports:

The U.S. Army said Wednesday it will seek the death penalty against the soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers during pre-dawn raids in March.

The announcement followed a pretrial hearing last month for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 39, who faces premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan.

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Bales' defense team has said the government's case is incomplete and outside experts have said a key issue going forward will be to determine whether Bales, who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Meanwhile, back in Fort Hood, AP reports

The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage apparently will be allowed to keep his beard during his military trial, after a new judge indicated Tuesday that she won't force him to shave.

The previous judge's order requiring Maj. Nidal Hasan to be clean-shaven or be forcibly shaved before his trial had tied up the case for more than three months, but an appeals court ousted that judge earlier this month.

Both crimes warrant the death penalty.  In Bales's case, PTSD is not remotely close to a mitigating circumstance sufficient to outweigh the aggravating.  In Hasan's case, it was preposterous to hold up the trial for three months over the military's beard-phobia.  Get on with the trial, expedite the review, and actually carry out the sentence.  Military justice is supposed to be swift, remember?

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