JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- A lawyer for the U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan villagers last year is asking jurors to consider his previous service and life as they weigh whether he should ever have a chance of being released from prison.
Attorney Emma Scanlan said in her closing argument Friday that no one can minimize the atrocities Staff Sgt. Robert Bales committed, but she urged jurors to leave him with a "sliver of light" -- a sentence of life with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
She read from letters sent by Bales' fellow soldiers, one who opined that a decade of seeing his fellow soldiers killed and maimed left him in a darkness that "swallowed him whole."
Prosecutors asked for a life sentence without parole, saying Bales knew well what he was doing when he left to commit the attacks before dawn on March 11, 2012.