Barrack Room Lawers

I am not embelishing anything matey, I did, if you bothered to read my whole post, say that this is what happened to the one of the Argentinian soldiers in the Falklands war. They were 'asked' to clear away munitions from near to the POW sheds at Goose green as it was in their best interest. The pile of munitions was booby trapped and went bang, The Chaplain of two Para helped to drag one guy out of the fire, mortally wounded the other who was further in the flames and couldnt be pulled out was still alive and in the condition that I have described, an Army medic grabbed a rifle off one of the nearby Paras and shot the fella as they couldnt get to him.

This isnt a Hollywood war story this is witnessed fact, and I didnt write it for gratuitous violence or tittilation. The Medic was faced with a moral dilema and he chose to put the poor fella out of his misery, he may have only lasted a few seconds more before dying anyway but who knows?

So that was the situation, you in your high moral ground of law and rights would have no doubt let him burn and scream.. I like to think that I would have had the moral courage to do what the medic did and end the guys agony.

Thanks for that Geo. I wasn't the medic but I too would hope that I would have the courage of my convictions to do the same.
 
Lee Clegg did the what he thought was the right thing and it cost him 5 years of his life.
I'm glad you brought that up. I remember when this was hot news, and at the time I was a bit of an establishment hating lefty student twat and even I thought he'd been stitched up by the ******* ruperts. The whole Battalion CofC should have been in the dock before him, and he should have been immediately acquitted for the simple reason that he was a young tom fresh out of depot on his first tour and in no position to question the behaviour of his senior colleagues, in what was unofficial, unsanctioned SOPs.
 
Well, that's what you thought. Trouble is the 'victim' is his girlfriend and she may have two black eyes and a vaginal tear or two but she said they were just having a bit of rough sex and you just came along and started on her poor innocent boyfriend.
You knew you were witnessing a rape, trouble is victim and rapist say different.

In that case your defence is you thought a crime was being commited BUT in the case of shooting a defenceless wounded enemy the law does not recognises mercy killings so you may be charged with murder.
 
In that case your defence is you thought a crime was being commited BUT in the case of shooting a defenceless wounded enemy the law does not recognises mercy killings so you may be charged with murder.

Yes you're right, I recognise that. However, you're in a very hot situation with soldiers who've been through it. You realise that there's no chance of saving this man's life and you see him in total agony. You kill him, you know that technically it's murder but would you ever think for one minute that your mates would shop you?
 
Well, that's what you thought. Trouble is the 'victim' is his girlfriend and she may have two black eyes and a vaginal tear or two but she said they were just having a bit of rough sex and you just came along and started on her poor innocent boyfriend.
You knew you were witnessing a rape, trouble is victim and rapist say different.

Hence my use of the word 'if' and why I italicised 'knew'.

For me to lawfully carry out that action, I would have to know (not suspect, but know) that a) an offence had been or was being committed, and b) that the person I was apprehending had committed or was committing that offence.

I am aware of the pitfalls of challenging couples who like fighting in public.
 
You kill him, you know that technically it's murder but would you ever think for one minute that your mates would shop you?

And thats all thats needed for the shit storm he finds himself in. If they were his mates he wouldnt be in this position would he? Was it really worth risking a life sentence for?
 
Hence my use of the word 'if' and why I italicised 'knew'.

For me to lawfully carry out that action, I would have to know (not suspect, but know) that a) an offence had been or was being committed, and b) that the person I was apprehending had committed or was committing that offence.

I am aware of the pitfalls of challenging couples who like fighting in public.

But that's my point, you come across a situation and you make an assessment. If you get it wrong then you pay the penalty. What if you ended up the guy who said "It's just a domestic" then is asked by the police why he let the murdered/rapist get away with it? Why didn't you at least try to stop him?
 
But that's my point, you come across a situation and you make an assessment.

I would like to think I am savvy enough to be able to differentiate between a 'domestic' and an assault. I would take my main cue off the response of the perceived victim; if they were shouting 'Help', were unconscious, or gagged, I would think that would be sufficient grounds to assume that it was an assault, if they told me to **** off and mind my own business, I would leave them to it.
 
I would like to think I am savvy enough to be able to differentiate between a 'domestic' and an assault. I would take my main cue off the response of the perceived victim; if they were shouting 'Help', were unconscious, or gagged, I would think that would be sufficient grounds to assume that it was an assault, if they told me to **** off and mind my own business, I would leave them to it.

The point is that you would make an assessment based on the information you had available. If that information was wrong then you would make a wrong decision and that is the point I'm making. She was unconscious M'Lud, almost dead, her body was limp and lifeless. No it wasn't I was having fantastic sex with Dwayne. Ow dare 'e say I was asleep, pervy bastard just wanted to get a look at me snatch!
Suddenly Joe_Private (hero) is Joe_Private on the sex offenders register.
 
The point is that you would make an assessment based on the information you had available. If that information was wrong then you would make a wrong decision and that is the point I'm making. She was unconscious M'Lud, almost dead, her body was limp and lifeless. No it wasn't I was having fantastic sex with Dwayne. Ow dare 'e say I was asleep, pervy bastard just wanted to get a look at me snatch!
Suddenly Joe_Private (hero) is Joe_Private on the sex offenders register.

But if I had reached a reasonable conclusion that any reasonable person would have come to in the circumstances, then a jury should find me not guilty, as the prosecution would have to prove their case against me 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

PS. Would you like a copy of the video footage I got on my phone? Promise not to stick it on You-tube though.
 
But if I had reached a reasonable conclusion that any reasonable person would have come to in the circumstances, then a jury should find me not guilty, as the prosecution would have to prove their case against me 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

PS. Would you like a copy of the video footage I got on my phone? Promise not to stick it on You-tube though.

You would hope so wouldn't you but nothing is guaranteed is it? Maybe he had come to the conclusion that what he was doing was right, a mercy, and that no one would convict him?

I wouldn't even know (or care) how to post on You-Tube.
 
Thanks for that Geo. I wasn't the medic but I too would hope that I would have the courage of my convictions to do the same.

Mate, I wouldnt have even wanted to have witnessed such a tragedy, let alone have to make a decision like that.
 
There has been precedence for this. An Argentinian soldier who was engulfed in leaked napalm was shot dead by a British soldier (I'm deliberately not naming the soldier as his name isn't relevant). There clearly is the possibility that would see the killing as a humanitarian exercise. Provided of course that the circumstances fit his testimony. If it would have been possible to call in hellivac and extract the casualty for treatment then there is room for doubt as to whether the killing was a mercy killing or just a bit of payback.
Personally I'm surprised such a case should come to light and even more surprised that it should be brought to trial. Bad things happen in war and we should be more willing to accept the reasons given by the officer concerned unless there was evidence of a pattern of such occurrences with this officer involved. I'm not saying anyone has the right to Judge and Jury but there should be room for a good honest **** up or bad judgement well intended. They're not the enemy for nothing, it's about time we stopped trying to fight war by Queensbury Rules.

Let us not forget, though, that it was the Canucks who disbanded their para reg after they had collected a few ears in Somalia. In my view this was precisely the right tactic to take in Somalia. And we didn't have any newsreel film of dead Canuck soldiers being dragged along behind "technical cars" either.
 

roosterboy

Old-Salt
Unfortunately, I think he's legally bang to rights. Despite what we all might think the moral position would be.

On another note, should the Geneva convention apply when dealing with insurgents or guerillas who aren't signed up to it? Isn't it a little outdated considering our current theatre of operations?
 
Unfortunately, I think he's legally bang to rights. Despite what we all might think the moral position would be.

On another note, should the Geneva convention apply when dealing with insurgents or guerillas who aren't signed up to it? Isn't it a little outdated considering our current theatre of operations?

It's not how others conduct themselves but how we conduct ourselves that makes us civilised.
 

trenchartax

Old-Salt
Been reading this thread for a few days now, some valid points made on both sides but being fairly repeated now. Is it time for the verdict that was actually passed or are their additional conundrums that are waiting to be thrown in?

or is google gonna be my friend?

TAA
 
Been reading this thread for a few days now, some valid points made on both sides but being fairly repeated now. Is it time for the verdict that was actually passed or are their additional conundrums that are waiting to be thrown in?

or is google gonna be my friend?

TAA

The Verdict came in as:

GATINEAU, QUE. - A court martial has found Capt. Robert Semrau not guilty of murder in a battlefield shooting in Afghanistan, but convicted him on the lesser military charge of disgraceful conduct.

While a four-person military judicial panel found the 36-year army captain guilty Monday under the National Defence Act of disgraceful conduct resulting from the Afghan shooting, he was found not guilty of second-degree murder, attempted murder and negligent performance of duty.

The Actual Sentence is:A Forces judge demoted Captain Semrau to Second Lieutenant and ruled he should be dismissed. The judge, Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Guy Perron, told the 36-year-old captain that he had failed in his role as a military leader and as an “ambassador of Canadian values.” The Forces code of conduct says soldiers must offer aid to wounded enemies that do not pose a threat.

“How can we expect our soldiers to follow the laws of war if their officers do not? How can we expect the Afghan National Army to follow the laws of war if the officers mentoring them do not?” Lt.-Col. Perron said.

Capt. Semrau managed to avoid jail time or the more severe sentence of “dismissal with disgrace.”

Semrau said “thousands” of people from Canada and around the world have added their voices of support for Robert by phone or on a special Facebook site calling for his freedom. “The support we have received from the public is fantastic,” he said.

The verdict was delivered in a monotone voice by lead panelist Commodore Laurence Hickey.

Semrau betrayed no emotion as the decision was read.

“The charge of disgraceful conduct was for shooting and wounding an unarmed person . . . that’s why he was found guilty of that offence,” Lt.-Col. Mario Leveillée, a member of the prosecution team, told reporters.

“I think it’s the first time it’s ever happened.”

Leveillée explained the burden of proof with a second-degree murder charge is that a person dies as a result “and they (the panel) may have had a reasonable doubt about this,” especially since the body was not recovered.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
Hmmm. Reminds me of the adage "Stay cool and admit nothing".

Will Semrau cop for his pension? Because convicted murderer and rapist Col Russell Williams got to keep his $60k a year pension following his conviction.

The Canadian military acknowledged it cannot do anything about Williams's pension and he is entitled to it unless the government takes steps to strip him of it.

(Not making any comparison between Williams and Semrau before anyone starts)
 

Red001

Clanker
Unfortunately, I think he's legally bang to rights. Despite what we all might think the moral position would be.

On another note, should the Geneva convention apply when dealing with insurgents or guerillas who aren't signed up to it? Isn't it a little outdated considering our current theatre of operations?

Geneva Convention I is pretty clear:

Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
International Humanitarian Law - First 1949 Geneva Convention

This article, known as "Common Article 3" because it's common to all the Geneva Conventions, was put in explicitly to cover situations where not all parties to the conflict are also party to the Conventions. The Taliban couldn't sign up to the Conventions even if they wanted to, as you have to be a State. The Palestinian Authority asked to sign up a few years ago and were refused on those grounds.

No explicit prohibition on mercy killing. Para. 1 talks about "treated humanely," 1a prohibits murder and Para. 2 says the wounded must be cared for.
 

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