Fort Bragg commander upholds soldier's murder conviction

FORT BRAGG (WTVD) -- A Fort Bragg soldier convicted of murdering two Afghan nationals will remain in prison, a Fort Bragg commander decided late last week.

"Maj. Gen. Richard Clarke carefully reviewed the facts of US v. Lorance, to include the clemency requests submitted in August, October, November and December 2014," said 18th Airborne Corps spokeswoman, Maj. Crystal Boring. "After an in-depth study of the case, he upheld the guilty verdict from the court martial panel and directed one year off the original sentence of 20 years confinement due to post-trial delay. The case is now being forwarded to the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals."

Boring said post-trial delay is an unreasonable time period between the trial and action forwarding the case to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Lorance has been in prison since Aug. 1, 2013.

Lorance was sentenced to 20 years in the Fort Leavenworth prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three men riding motorcycles through an Afghanistan war zone. It happened during the summer of 2012. Two men died, and the prosecutors concluded they were innocent civilians. The Army also said Lorance had put his soldiers in danger by issuing the orders.

Lorance was sentenced on Fort Bragg during the summer of 2013, following a court martial in which platoon members testified there was no reason to shoot the unarmed men. Lorance has always maintained that he did what he believed was right to protect his troops.

Last month, Lorance's Chicago-based attorney submitted a final set of clemency requests that presented new evidence and called a supervising prosecutor's credibility into question.

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On Tuesday, Lorance's mother said she and her husband delivered the news to their son during an evening visit with him at Leavenworth. She said Clint Lorance took the news well, and remains strong and positive.

"He said, 'Mom, the system's broken.' He said 'I have no faith, no confidence in the military justice system,'" said Anna Lorance.

Lorance said a petition for a Presidential Pardon began on Jan. 2, and currently has close to 55,000 signatures. One hundred thousand signatures need to be gathered within a month's time period for the Obama Administration to consider the pardon.

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"We're not going to sit back," said Anna Lorance. "We gave them the chance to make this right."

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