UK & World News
Afghan Massacre: No Parole For Robert Bales
US soldier Robert Bales has been sentenced to life without possibility of parole for the 2012 killing of 16 Afghan villagers.
Staff Sgt Bales, 40, pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty.
The only possible sentences the six-member jury had to consider was life in prison with the chance of release after 20 years, or life without release.
The military jurors deliberated less than two hours on Friday before reaching a decision.
Describing Bales as a "man of no moral compass", Army prosecutor Lt Col Jay Morse had asked the jury in closing arguments to ensure Bales was never released from prison.
"In just a few short hours, Sgt Bales wiped out generations," Lt Col Morse said. "Sgt Bales dares to ask you for mercy when he has shown none."
Defence attorney Emma Scanlan begged the jurors to consider her client's prior life and years of good military service, and suggested he snapped under the weight of his fourth combat deployment.
Bales took the stand on Thursday and apologised for his "act of cowardice", adding he would bring back the victims "in a heartbeat" if he could.
"I'm truly, truly sorry to those people whose families got taken away," he said in a mostly steady voice during questions from one of his lawyers.
"I can't comprehend their loss. I think about it every time I look at my kids."
Prosecutors say on the night of March 11, 2012, Bales left his remote post at Camp Belambay and walked to the two nearby villages, shooting 22 people in all, including women and children.
The massacre sparked angry protests in Afghanistan and resulted in a brief halt to US military combat operations.