Incarcerated Edmond soldier's brother appeals for clemency

At a hearing before the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board in Arlington, Va., Brett Behenna says no purpose will be served by keeping his brother in jail. Behenna's brother, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, was convicted of killing a suspected terrorist in 2008 in Iraq.
by Chris Casteel Published: February 8, 2013

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna has been punished enough for killing a suspected terrorist in Iraq and should be released from prison, Behenna's brother argued Thursday before the Army Clemency and Parole Board.

Brett Behenna, in an interview after the closed-door hearing on Behenna's request for clemency, said he told the board that his brother had served four years of his 15-year sentence and further confinement was not justified.

“The fact that he will be dishonorably discharged, the fact that he will be a convicted felon the rest of his life, the fact that he'll lose constitutional rights that every fellow American enjoys — all these things are a sufficient punishment, a punishment that is proportional and a punishment that does justice,” Brett Behenna, an Oklahoma County prosecutor, said.

“And we asked them to release Michael and allow him to come home to his family.”

Michael Behenna, 29, was convicted of killing Ali Mansur in Iraq in 2008 and is serving his sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Michael Behenna, a platoon leader, had taken Mansur to a remote area, forced him to strip naked and then questioned him at gunpoint about his activities in regard to a roadside bomb that had killed two members of Behenna's platoon.

Behenna testified at his 2009 trial on charges of premeditated murder in a combat zone that he shot Mansur twice after the Iraqi threw a piece of concrete at him and reached for his gun.

Supreme Court appeal

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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