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Summary of “Canadian soldier found not guilty in battlefield death
Postmedia News, 19 July 2010


Capt. Robert Semrau was found not guilty of second-degree murder, but guilty of a lesser charge of disgraceful conduct. He faced a “minimum sentenced of 10 years behind bars.”

The case raised the issue of what constitutes murder on the battlefield. It also prompted questions on the “bond between soldiers, as one soldier alleged there had been talk of covering up Semrau’s actions.” There was also the vexing issue of mercy-killing. When, if ever, is it justified?

The body of the insurgent was never found, so it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt if he was alive or dead when Semrau shot him. Nevertheless, it appeared clear that Semrau believed he was putting a dying soldier out of his misery.