Calvin Gibbs

27.04.2016 ( Last modified: 03.05.2017 )
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facts

Calvin Gibbs was born in 1985 in Montana, United States and was a soldier (staff sergeant) in the United States army operating in Afghanistan.

He is the highest ranking of five soldiers charged for the deaths of the three unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province in 2010. Gibbs was alleged to have recruited other soldiers to murder civilians he called “savages” after he took over command of a US army platoon in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province in November 2009. He allegedly placed weapons by their dead bodies to make them look like combatants. This so-called “Kill Team” allegedly planted grenades on their victims to cover up the murders. Gibbs also collected the severed body parts of his victims.

legal procedure

A trial before a court-martial began on 28 October 2011 against US Army Sergeant Calvin Gibbs. Gibbs’ trial followed an 18-month investigation into crimes committed by US military personnel as part of the war in Afghanistan. Gibbs was charged for three counts of premeditated murder, in addition to charges for cutting off the fingers, dismantling dead bodies and assaulting a soldier for notifying superiors of drug abuse within the unit.

Gibbs was accused of being the instigator of the atrocities against Afghan civilians. Gibbs acknowledged cutting fingers off the victims’ corpses and yanking out a victim’s tooth to keep as war trophies. Three of the co-defendants pleaded guilty, and two of them testified against Gibbs, portraying him as an imposing, bloodthirsty leader.

On 10 November 2011 a military jury convicted Gibbs of fifteen charges. Along with three murder charges, he was convicted of conspiring to kill innocent civilians, assaulting a junior-ranking soldier, keeping body parts from corpses and illegally possessing “off the books” weapons. The military jury sentenced Gibbs to life in prison.

In March 2016, Gibbs attorney filed a request to consider new evidence that one of the killings was due to legitimate combat engagement. In June 2016, the military appeals court ordered a fresh look into the evidence.