If a soldier commits a crime, is that different than if anyone else commits a crime? There’s an argument that decisions made in the heat of battle by those sacrificing for their country should be judged differently than others.
U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) would agree with that. He recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to review the cases of incarcerated soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We have great concerns about our servicemen and women who are now serving time in prison for doing combat duty and being subjected to combat situations where these are life or death consequences,” Babin says. “It’s easy to armchair quarterback and forget what these young men and women have gone through.”
Babin has met with the families of incarcerated service members.
“It’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone who supposedly committed a heinous crime and realize he just saw a friend get blown up or someone that pretended to surrender and then fired a shot,” he says.
Babin was also motivated to send this letter after hearing his son’s battlefield stories. His son served as a Navy Seal and was deployed to Iraq three times.
Babin says a review could impact approximately ten servicemembers and envisions their sentences being commuted, pardoned or lightened.
“We’ve got terrorists getting out, we’ve got drug dealers getting out of prison,” he says. “Why in the world can’t we look at some of our soldiers who have fought in one of the most frustrating, long-duration wars in the history of our country?”
Written by Molly Smith.