Friday, August 14, 2009

Sentences Overturned in USAID Officer's Murder

The Washington Times reports today that the four men in Sudan who were convicted of killing USAID officer John Granville in January 2008 have had their sentences commuted.

According to the WT story (Diplomat's killers spared death penalty):

An appeals court commuted the death sentences for four men convicted of killing an American diplomat and his Sudanese driver after the driver's family decided to pardon the murderers, a news agency reported Thursday.

Sudanese law stipulates that if a victim's family chooses to pardon the murderer, the person cannot be sentenced to death and the prison term cannot exceed 10 years. The case will be referred back to the initial court for a new sentence, the Sudan Media Center said.

The three appeals court judges delivered their verdict Wednesday without considering the wishes of the family of diplomat, John Granville, who was killed by gunmen along with his driver as he was returning from a New Year's party in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, said the news agency, which has close links to the Sudanese government.

Mr. Granville, 33, of Buffalo, N.Y., worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The appeals court did not consider - and evidently did not even solicit - the wishes of the family of the U.S. citizen victim. And, as the result of its consideration of the wishes of the Sudanese victim's family, the four killers cannot receive a new sentence that exceeds ten years. Wow.

I would hope the USG can find some way to make the Sudanese government consider its wishes in this matter, and hand the four killers over to the U.S. justice system after Sudan finishes slapping their wrists.

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