(Picture Credit: Vanessa Gera/AP denverpost.com)
President Trump has allowed a full exculpation to previous Army first Lt. Michael Behenna, who was sentenced by a military court in 2009 for killing an Iraqi detainee associated with being a part of al-Qaida. Behenna was at first condemned to 25 years; he was discharged on parole in 2014.
Behenna, 35, was discovered liable of unpremeditated homicide in a battle zone for shooting Ali Mansur Mohamed in 2008. He said he acted in self-defense, and as the White House declared his pardon, it also said a U.S. Armed force investigative court had “noted concern about how the trial court had handled Mr. Behenna’s claim of self-defense.”
Mansur was found guilty amid addressing a roadside blast that had murdered individuals from a company under Behenna’s direction. In military court and in a meeting a year ago, Behenna recognized that he had chosen to address Mansur all alone, weeks after the Iraqi was at first discharged in view of an absence of direct proof that could attach him to the blast.
Mansur was bare when he was shot; Behenna said the detainee had attempted to take his weapon. In his lawful intrigue, he additionally said that amid the preliminary, investigators had retained evidence from his lawyers.
The push to absolve Behenna, an Oklahoma local, was taken up by the high level government officials in his home state. Individuals from Congress offered their help, as did previous Gov. Mary Fallin and state Attorney General Mike Hunter — who over and over requested that Trump pardon Behenna.
Mike Hunter welcomed the news and said, “Behenna served his country with distinction, honor and sacrifice. He has admitted to his mistakes, has learned from them and deserves to move on from this incident without living under its cloud for the rest of his life.”
Behenna’s family has worked vivaciously for his sake — and they are well-situated to do so, with profound connections to law authority and the legal framework. His dad, Scott Behenna, has worked for both the FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. His mom, Vicki Behenna, is a lawyer and previous long-term government investigator in Oklahoma City who has driven the charge to support her child — first to win parole and afterward to pick up a presidential exoneration.
At the point when that pardon call came, Michael Behenna missed the White House’s call to him since he was addressing his dad on the telephone, as indicated by The Oklahoman. At that point he called the White House to address the president.
“My heart was thumping quick,” he told the paper. “I had big ol’ tears in my eyes. He said he’d heard about my case, and ‘you have a lot of support behind you. Your case came highly recommended.’ I’m choked up and I’m trying to say, ‘Thank you very much.’ ”
With his record cleared, Behenna doesn’t have to face the confinements that would have accompanied being on parole through 2024.
Notwithstanding support inside Oklahoma, the White House articulation about Behenna’s exculpation referenced different variables, from the Army Clemency and Parole Board lessening his sentence and allowing him parole to somewhere in the range of 37 military officers and others signing to support his case.
The White House articulation about his exoneration included, “Further, while serving his sentence, Mr. Behenna was a model prisoner. In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency.”