WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, and the Edmond soldier’s father said the focus would now turn full-time toward the clemency and parole process.
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What really happened in Iraq?
First Lt. Michael Behenna was questioning the Iraqi man, Ali Mansur, who had been identified as part of a terrorist cell, about a roadside bombing that killed two members of Behenna’s platoon.
Behenna testified at his trial that he shot Mansur in self-defense after the man threw a piece of concrete at him and lunged for his weapon.
The military’s highest appeals court ruled last summer that Behenna had lost his right to self-defense since he was the initial aggressor and armed while Mansur had no weapon.
Behenna’s petition warned that the ruling on self-defense threatened the lives of U.S. soldiers fighting unconventional wars in which the enemy is not easily identified and service members must often have their weapons drawn.
The Justice Department countered in a written brief to the high court that the Behenna case was decided on the specific facts and did not have broad implications for soldiers in combat zones.