National Affairs: Mercy

President Truman last week tempered Army justice with civilian mercy: Pfc. Joseph Hicswa, sentenced to death for the murder of two Japanese civilians during a drunken brawl (TIME, Jan. 28), will serve 30 years' imprisonment at hard labor instead. The President acted on the strength of a review by the Judge Advocate General's office which found that: 1) the crime was unpremeditated; 2) Hicswa's mentality was sufficiently low to justify clemency; 3) the death sentence was excessive. More compelling, Pentagon lawyers could find no precedent of a U.S. serviceman's having been executed for the murder or...

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