Clint Lorance

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Clint Allen Lorance[1]
Born (1984-12-13) December 13, 1984 (age 33)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of North Texas
OccupationU.S. Army officer
Criminal penalty19 years imprisonment
Details
DateJuly 2, 2012 (2012-07-02)
Location(s)Kandahar Province
Target(s)Afghan civilians
Killed2

Clint Allen Lorance is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army who in August 2013 was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder for ordering soldiers in his platoon to open fire at three men on a motorcycle in southern Afghanistan in July 2012.[2] He is confined in the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.[3]

Court-martial proceedings[edit]

At his trial in August 2013, Lorance testified on his own behalf, while nine members of his platoon testified against him.[4] Lorance stated that the three men on the motorcycle were speeding towards the platoon and ignoring commands to stop.[4] His soldiers testified that the platoon was walking through a field of grapes on patrol when a motorcycle was spotted approximately 600 feet away, and that the motorcycle could not have reached the platoon's position in the grape field.[4] Attorneys for Lorance attempted to cast doubt on four of the soldiers' accounts, arguing that they were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony.[4] The other five soldiers who testified against Lorance did not receive immunity.[5] At the end of a three-day trial, Lorance was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, obstruction of justice, and other charges "related to a pattern of threatening and intimidating actions toward Afghans" as the platoon's leader.[2] He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, forfeiture of all pay, and dismissal from the Army.[2]

In December 2014, an attorney for Lorance filed pleadings alleging that Lorance was the victim of prosecutorial misconduct.[6] In January 2015, supporters created a petition on the White House website asking the Obama administration to grant a Presidential pardon to Lorance. It received 124,966 signatures. The White House declined to comment on the specifics, saying instead that requests for executive clemency for federal offenses should be directed to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.[7]

On January 5, 2015, the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division, Major General Richard Clarke, completed a review and upheld Lorance's conviction. General Clarke upheld the guilty verdict from the court-martial panel and directed one year off the original sentence of 20 years confinement due to post-trial delay.[3] In September 2015, defense attorneys filed a petition with the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals for a new trial, claiming that evidence linking the two killed Afghans to terror networks was left out of Lorance's court-martial,[8] but the court ruled in June 2017 that the evidence would not have been permitted at trial, and even if it had, it would not have helped Lorance's case.[9]

Lorance is confined in the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.[3] As of 2018 there is a petition effort on behalf of the group United American Patriots to seek a presidential pardon for Lorance.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography - About Clint Lorance". Free Clint Lorance. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c writer, John Ramsey Staff. "Army first lieutenant found guilty of murder, other charges for actions in Afghanistan". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  3. ^ a b c Tan, Michelle (5 January 2015). "Conviction stands for LT convicted in Afghan slayings". Army Times. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Phillipps, Dave (February 24, 2015). "Cause Célèbre, Scorned by Troops". The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  5. ^ Tan, Michelle (2017-08-07). "Hero or murderer? Soldiers divided in 1LT Lorance case". Army Times. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  6. ^ Carr, Nicole (26 December 2014). "Army prosecutor's credibility questioned in call for Fort Bragg soldier's freedom". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  7. ^ "A Response to Your Petition on Pardoning Clint Lorance | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government". petitions.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  8. ^ Carr, Nicole (2015-09-23). "Appeal filed in former Fort Bragg soldier's murder case". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  9. ^ Brooks, Drew. "Army court denies appeal for former 82nd officer convicted of Afghan murders". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2018-02-10.