2013 Archives

Lead prosecutor, Afghan culture expert to offer rare insight into Kandahar massacre case Nov. 7

November 1, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) — Lt. Col. Jay Morse, lead U.S. Army prosecutor in the court-martial of former staff sergeant Robert Bales for the March 2012 Kandahar massacre in Afghanistan, will speak publicly for the first time about the civilian shooting rampage and subsequent criminal case during an SMU Dedman School of Law lecture Nov. 7.

U.S. Army prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse
Jay Morse
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Afghan culture expert Morwari Zafar
Morwari Zafar

“U.S. v. Robert Bales: Perspectives on Military Justice and Cultural Context” is a free public lecture that will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception before the 6:30 p.m. program in Dedman School of Law’s Karcher Auditorium in Storey Hall, 3315 Daniel Ave.

Advance registration is required by visiting www.law.smu.edu/Forms/Alumni/Military-Justice.aspx .

Joining Morse will be U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Afghan culture expert Morwari Zafar. They will discuss how the U.S. and Afghanistan “have stunningly different conceptions of not only what Bales did but also what accountability and justice mean and look like,” says event moderator and SMU Dedman Law professor Chris Jenks, a highly decorated military law expert.

Jenks calls the Kandahar massacre case, involving the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians and attempted murder of six others, “the most significant American war crimes trial since the My Lai massacre.” He also contends that Bales’ crimes have altered and may undo the strategic relationship between the United States and Afghanistan. (For more of Jenks' thoughts about the U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement, see his recent commentary for Al Jazeera America.)

Co-sponsors of this event include the American Constitution Society, Human Rights Legal Association, the International Law Society and the Muslim Law Students Society.

For more details, contact Rebekah Bell at rbell@smu.edu or call 214-768-4177.

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