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Iraqi official says trial that spared ex-U.S. soldier's life 'unjust'

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Leader of Yusufiya, Iraq, Awakening Council demands ex-soldier be retried
  • NEW: "He ... killed an entire family," says Mustafa Kamel Shabib al-Jabouri
  • "Defendant's brother Doug Green tells victims' kin: "We're sorry. We're sorry"
  • Steven Green was last soldier from 101st Airborne Division convicted in 2006 crime
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(CNN) -- An Iraqi official condemned Friday the decision by a U.S. jury not to sentence a U.S. soldier to death.

Former U.S. soldier Steven Green faces life in prison after being convicted of murdering an Iraqi family.

Former U.S. soldier Steven Green faces life in prison after being convicted of murdering an Iraqi family.

"He raped a girl and killed an entire family, and he got only life in prison. ... This is an unjust trial," said Mustafa Kamel Shabib al-Jabouri, leader of the Awakening Council in Yusufiya. "We demand a new trial."

Steven Green was found guilty earlier this month of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and of murdering her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister.

He was the last of five soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division convicted in the crimes and the cover-up that followed.

During Green's trial, relatives of the murder victims gave gripping testimony about how the crimes still haunt them. Some family members said their lives have been ruined and it would have been better if they'd also been killed.

Thursday, Green avoided the death penalty when a Kentucky jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

Green was tried in civilian court because he had been discharged from the Army by the time his crimes came to light. The three others were tried by a military court and imprisoned.

Spc. James Barker, Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pfc. Jesse Spielman and Pfc. Bryan Howard received sentences ranging from 27 months to 110 years, with the possibility of parole in 10 years in the most severe cases.

After the trial, defense attorneys called for the military to "take a hard look at the resources they provide our service members dealing with combat stress issues. If they do not, we [are] certain a tragedy like this will occur again in the future."

Doug Green, Steven's brother, said he was grateful his brother's life was spared. "I was incredibly relieved," he said. "This is as good as it gets."

He also offered an apology.

"Our hearts and prayers are with you. We're sorry. We're sorry," he said. "This has been hard for everybody involved. Not just my family, but the Iraqis. Everybody is going to need some healing."

"I think it is hard for any one of us to put on those shoes," he said. "Unless you have been to Iraq and fought in that war, or fought in any war, it is impossible to know what they are going through and impossible to judge them."

The murders of members of the al-Janabi family occurred in 2006 near Yusufiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.

CNN's Deb Feyerick contributed to this report.

All About Baghdad101st Airborne DivisionPost-Traumatic Stress DisorderIraq War

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