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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Lynndie England case: Your views
Lynndie England
What do you think of the prison sentence for Lynndie England?

Private England has been sentenced to three years in jail and given a dishonourable discharge by a military panel after being found guilty of abusing Iraqi prisoners.

The US woman soldier appeared in some of the graphic photos showing abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison which were published around the world last year.

England blamed her involvement in the abuses on her then boyfriend, Private Charles Graner, the father of her 11-month-old son.

What are your views on the Lynndie England case?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Maryam Youssef, USA
What effect does the fact that the longest sentence relating to the Abu Ghraib scandal was only three years?

It should be a two way street for senior officers too. Lynndie England's sentence of 3 year jail time and a dishonourable discharge is ample punishment but this does not serve the purpose till senior officers are dealt the same hand. As commanding officers get promotions and medals for their men performing well, they should also be punished for such acts and not be allowed to claim ignorance in cases like these. If courts can send some CEOs to jail, the military can very well follow suit.
Sanjay, Los Angeles, USA

All the media hype is being aimed at one woman? We know very well there are bigger fish to fry... this includes a certain commander in chief.
Tommy, USA

I think England deserved more time. What she did was the most dishonourable thing a member of the military could do? As a veteran of the US Navy, I could not believe the story to be true until the pictures were shown. She should have gotten the max punishment.
Wendie, Vancouver, WA, USA

Her acts are deplorable and will follow her the rest of her days
Horst, Ramstein, Germany
In Germany you get 7 years for murder. So three years for acting the bully seems sufficient to me. After all, she didn't kill anyone. Her acts are deplorable and will follow her the rest of her days. That is her real punishment.
Horst, Ramstein, Germany

The world should learn that America is too immature to take the lead in such conflicts. America has shown before it is incapable of self control. This administration is particularly incompetent. The sentence is too short for the damage done but her many seniors should be charged and convicted too.
Dennis Simpson, Ashford, UK

She is obviously just a scapegoat so the higher ups don't lose their jobs. This doesn't solve any problems.
Adrienne, Minnesota, USA

Obviously Private England did not make the best choices at Abu Ghraib. However, does the military expect us to believe that none of her superiors knew of the prisoner abuses? By the way, war is not, and never was, a pretty sight. If you support the war, you support human atrocities, period.
Jim, Buffalo, NY USA

Sorry to say, but these soldiers need to be punished in order for the US to have at least some good image in the international view. Unfortunately, the senior officials will just fly by. But sentencing some is better than not sentencing any at all.
Bilal Sultan, New York, USA

England was a victim herself
Daniel Plumb, Wash, DC
England was a victim herself. She should have been declared as not guilty and given an honourable discharge.
Daniel Plumb, Wash, DC

She was picked for that role specifically because she is compliant and ignorant. This makes her, in a sense, a victim of intentional abuse herself.
Jerrold Richards, Portland, Oregon, USA

She should have got the maximum sentence possible. I have no time at all for people who abuse a position of trust. She tries to pass the blame on to her boyfriend. She has no sense of values herself. I'm afraid I have no time for people like this.
Malcolm Pickup, Adliya, Bahrain

Once again, the lowest ranking persons are being made to take the rap for the higher officials who looked the other way. This woman is obviously very marginal and easily manipulated. Those truly responsible go free.
Ann Moore, Hampton, Virginia USA

England is poorly educated and was poorly trained. She wasn't a professional soldier and should be judged by those standards. The life-long disempowered will often act as she when given total control over another human being. As a vet with five battle stars and REMF time, I feel sorry for her and blame the system which put her where she didn't belong.
J Veon, Pittsburgh USA

Always question authority when it conflicts with a moral principle
Ed, Atlanta
Always question authority when it conflicts with a moral principle, no matter what your lot is. You can't trust anyone in this self serving world. Take the bit out of your mouth long enough to demand answers before action. Rural West Virginia is one impossible place to grow up "worldly" in. As a former Marine Staff Sergeant, I have learned you can't trust officers to directly 'fess up to mistakes. They are all under the pressure that one mistake will cost them everything career-wise!
Ed, Atlanta

The people who gave England her orders should be charged and dismissed form duty! This is another case of the low man getting the blame for the boss's bad judgments.
Barbara Kirschenstein, Pembroke, Maine, USA

We can't delude ourselves into thinking that Lynndie is just a "bad apple" in an otherwise pure military. We're talking about a military, backed by a government that has declared the Geneva Convention null and void. Like the small time hustler that goes to jail while the mob boss goes free.... it's Bush and company that are setting the rules, and its the likes of her that carry them out.
Jeannine Thorpe, Los Angeles, USA

Three years is not enough time. She's a big girl, she knew exactly what she was doing. I wonder what kind of a mother she would be?
Marjorie (Drake) Grisak, Rosarito, Baja California

I feel sorry for her. She was led by others and as far as I can see, no one was actually hurt by the activities she was involved in - just humiliated. The whole thing has been blown up out all proportion and I hope they let her go a lot sooner than three years. I'd have given her a suspended sentence.
David, Taunton, UK

She should write a book
Ayo Awoyele, Peterborough, UK
Private England should go and "take her medicine like a man". When she comes out of prison, she should write a book about her experience in prison and Iraq. She could use the money for her newborn child and also to rebuild her life.
Ayo Awoyele, Peterborough, UK

As a Vietnam vet my opinion is: She is a disgrace to the United States and everyone that has ever served this country. She should have received the maximum sentence, which in her case was too short.
Ken Reagan, Lancaster, Ca, USA

The people who set the policy, and established the climate - Rumsfield, Gonzales, and the president are getting off, while the people at the bottom are taking the punishment. They did wrong, but their superiors did a bigger wrong.
j beach, pittsboro, usa

She was of course wrong to humiliate the Iraqi prisoners and for that she is paying a very heavy price. But Abu Ghraib represents the worst of American policy. Let us concentrate on the positive aspects and the good things America has given the world. In equal measure American politicians should come clean about their disastrous policies in Iraq.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium

Having served in the US military in Vietnam, and elsewhere, I know for a fact that any mishap or wrongdoing is pinned on the lowest possible rating. "Military justice" does not exist, period.
Tom, Reno, USA

Isn't that the excuse Germans used after WW2? 'It was our officers'?
Mike Watkins, Farnborough
How can people say she is a scapegoat? She actually abused prisoners, took photos and she is now paying the price. But please don't start saying she is a scapegoat. Isn't that the excuse Germans used after WW2? 'It was our officers'?
Mike Watkins, Farnborough

Join the US Army and avoid ever being charged with a war crime, no matter what! Get less prison time for sexual abuse, torture, murder and rape than you'd get for possession of small-time narcotics or theft if you were stateside! Apply today at your local recruitment office! No-one's held accountable. I apologise for all those who serve in the army nobly. Your fellow soldiers like this up and down the chain of command give you a bad name. Maybe you should follow the example of the one who took the pictures and turn them over to the press to ensure someone would finally have to face their crimes, even if justice clearly still falls far short. At least we know about it this time.
Andrew, California, USA

Private English's commanding officers either knew what was happening and so should be brought to court, or they did not know in which case they should be court marshalled for astounding negligence and bad command.
Elizabeth, Oxford, UK

Having served in Iraq when the photos came to light, I can attest to the rise in attacks on US and coalition troops because of this soldier. Mother or not, she should never see a free day again. How many other mothers were deprived of their children because of what she did?
Patrick McLeod, Charlotte, NC, USA

Justice will not be done until someone above the rank of captain receives the same punishment. This sort of behaviour does not just "happen" in the military without at least passive approval of the activity.
ND, Great Fall, MT

The punishment seems right but I would really like to see her captain, major, colonel, general, etc get the same, if not more punishment.
Jenice, Florida, USA

Such a sentence for a new mother will certainly be hard
Christian Tiburtius, Reading, UK
People would have complained no matter what sentence she was given, but such a sentence for a new mother will certainly be hard. The only problem is that you get the feeling that she is being punished for foolishness and naivety and those really responsible have simply thrown her to the wolves.
Christian Tiburtius, Reading, UK

Only three years, why, she abused prisoners. Surely if we want the Iraqis to except we are trying to help them we should show them that if our forces abuse their people then they will be properly punished, 5-7 years would have been more realistic, with no parole.
Tim, England

Unfortunately Lynndie England fell into bad company in the Army. Her sentence shows, I think, some compassion for her.
David Ames, Massachusetts, USA

By far too light a sentence for her sick treatment of defenceless interned prisoners
Paul Buller, Canada

It will never be known how many lives of our military will be indirectly lost due to soldier England's misadventures. Three years' sentence is not enough.
Jerry Zelinka, Estero, FL, USA

Justice has not been done fairly giving her only a three year jail sentence. This is a very soft sentence because the crime she committed again humanity was very grave and serious. She should have at least served 25 years.
M Bhayat, Nuneaton Warwickshire

Justice has been partially done
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary
In my eyes the glass is half empty. Justice has been partially done. It was just another showcase trial in order to shut up critics' mouths. The verdict makes me feel that she has become a scapegoat, while her fellow abusers are getting away with their shameful deeds.
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary

Last night I was watching the current Bob Dylan documentary on the BBC. Dylan's song "He's Only a Pawn in Their Game" about politicians, the military etc who use poor people to do their dirty work was featured. Bob Dylan, you said it all four decades ago...just change "He to "She".
Hilary Traveller, Guildford, UK

What so many have said already, making Lynndie the scapegoat is nothing less than shameful on the part of her chain of command. Leaders in the military are responsible and take full accountability for the actions of their subordinates, but not in this case. I am embarrassed to be an American.
Bandit6, USA

10 years would not have been enough. The stupidity of her action caused a major fall out that will never be recouped.
Richard Ponkey, South Lyon, MI, USA

Lynndie England, as well as her partner, have been convicted in order to take the attention away from those who ordered or condoned the maltreatment of prisoners of war.
Daniela, Berlin, Germany

The Lynndie England case is yet another case of finding a scapegoat and hanging her. It has become characteristic in the United States for those who are in the upper echelon of power and responsibility not to accept any blame and deflect to the riff-raffs. This is exactly how the British nobility functions. Learning it from their "educated" cousins, the American moneyed lot have almost perfected it. There does not exist any institution in the United States, military included, where this cruel game is not played.
Ramtanu Maitra, Leesburg, VA, USA

She represents a state-of-mind in the military
Bob, Lancaster, USA
While she may be guilty, it is hard for me to believe she is alone. I believe she represents a state-of-mind in the military and, unfortunately, in some elements of the country.
Bob, Lancaster, USA

I would like to congratulate Miss England for having the guts and the honesty to stand up and admit what she had done. I have no problem with her receiving a reduced sentence because of this courageous course of action. That said, what she did was despicable and a jail sentence was the only reasonable result. The acid test will be whether the USA will come down suitably severely on those who have not been so honest and repentant. And especially how determined they are to root out all of those responsible.
Geof Elgie, Dorking

It must be shown that the actions of these few do not reflect the attitude nor the morality of the American majority. It is sad that she has to go to prison being a new mother, but code of conduct was taught her in the military. I do question her being the main source of this conduct. If her immediate chain of command gave acceptance or encouraged this behaviour then they ought to join her.
Lance, Rochester, New York

A total whitewash, a token sentence. She is being punished lightly to give the appearance the US military is taking concrete action to prevent prisoner abuse. Until the prisons are open to real unbiased inspection, I am sure we will have more "Lynndie Englands" sacrificed to cover up for the superior officers and politicians' real orders.
Bill Hamilton, Canada

To me there is nothing more obvious that Lynndie England has been made a scapegoat for the guilty knowledge and complicity of the military and political establishment.
Garry, Bury, England

How many years did those in command of her get? None. USA justice wins again.
Jack, Essex

Lynndie England is only a pawn in the game. I'd like to see her superiors held to account for this. The generals take the credit for the successes so they should be accountable for the misdemeanours.
Stuart, London

What a joke, and who can say she will really serve this sentence? I get the feeling that the US Army is just trying to appease the Arab World and that these sentences are just bogus.
MN, Cairo, Egypt

It is bad enough that foreign occupational forces should ever have been in Iraq in the first place, without these incidents occurring to degrade and humiliate the very people we are supposed to be 'saving' and endangering the lives of our soldiers there. It is only right that such incidents are punished to the full extent of the law, and Pte England should consider herself lucky to have received such a lenient sentence. The arguments that she did not know it was wrong and that she was coerced just do not stand up at all. If she lacked such moral integrity then she should not have been in the army.
Jim, Birmingham, UK

Three years is a travesty of justice. Like her superiors she refused to take responsibility for her actions.
Mark

Obviously she's guilty, but it's a shame that's its only her that's getting the blame. But what I find the most sickening is the current wave of trend followers who call this a crime against Iraqis. Excuse me, but I don't recall hearing your voice when my Iraqi brothers and sisters in Abu Ghraib were tortured and murdered during Saddam's criminal regime. Suddenly now that the coalition are in Iraq, the Iraqi life has become more valuable? Hmm - double standards me thinks
Salan Hawizy (ex Iraq), Aberdeen, Scotland

I think justice was done. Those abuse pictures shocked the world and painted a very depraved picture of the US military. I hope other guilty individuals are punished.
Zak Kahn, Glasgow, Scotland

3 years? That's less time than some of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have been waiting for a fair (or even any) trial! But then, that's American justice for you...
Adrian K, Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK





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