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England Swings....And Pays The Price

"I'm Guilty. No, wait..."


On Wednesday, a military judge threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, saying he was not convinced the Army reservist - shown here in some of the more infamous photos - knew her actions were wrong at the time.



England: "Was this wrong? I really didn't know!"


Even though Pfc. England entered a guilty plea to posing with Iraqi prisoners in humiliating, degrading, and...did we mention humiliating? snapshots, along with other military personnel, including Pvt. Charles Graner, she was obviously just confused, according to the judge.

The military judge, Col. James Pohl, entered a plea of not guilty for England on a charge of conspiring with Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. to maltreat detainees at the Baghdad-area prison and a related charge.

The mistrial came after Graner testified as a defense witness at England's sentencing hearing that pictures he took of England holding a naked prisoner on a leash at Abu Ghraib were meant to be used as a training aid for other guards. Sort of a 'How To Disgrace The Enemy' guidebook.



England: "Was this wrong? I really didn't know!"


When England pleaded guilty Monday, she told the judge she knew that the pictures were being taken purely for the amusement of the guards. She also admitted to feeling 'peer pressure' from her colleagues.

Evidently, the judge saw things a little differently. He was convinced that England did not understand that what she was doing was wrong. "You can't have a one-person conspiracy," the judge said before he declared the mistrial and dismissed the sentencing jury.



England: "Was this wrong? I really didn't know!"


Under military law, the judge could formally accept her guilty plea only if he was convinced that she knew at the time that what she was doing was illegal. By rejecting the plea to the conspiracy charge, Pohl canceled the entire plea agreement.

Neither prosecution nor defense lawyers would speak to reporters after the deal was discarded. However, England's attorneys were said to be enjoying several nice, cold alcholic beverages at a nearby military bar.



"Was I wrong? I really don't know!
My....brain....hurts!"




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