Should war heroes who commit crimes be treated differently if charged with a crime in this country? War veteran, Andrew Brannan believes so. Brannan served his country during the Vietnam War and was charged with the crime of killing a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia.
Brannan tried to use his war record in his favor as he is waiting on death row. The Georgia parole board took his plea for consideration, but unfortunately, they denied his propels to avoid the death penalty based on the fact that he served in the war.
Brannan’s attorneys fought hard to reduce his sentence to life in prison without parole because they were pleading that Brannan is suffering from a mental disorder that Brannan was suffering from when he killed the sheriff’s deputy, Kyle Dinkheller, back in 1998.
Brannan and his lawyers are not denying that he shot Dinkheller, during a traffic stop, but they want the court to strongly consider the fact that Brannan was on full army disability because he was suffering from PTSD.
After examining every possible side of this case the parole board denied Brannan this last chance for life. While Brannan pleaded not guilty because he said he suffered a war flashback, a psychiatrist at the time deemed Brannan sane.
Brannan was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday morning. Brannan’s attorney, Joe Loveland had this to say after they found out they were denied clemency on Monday, “The loss to me – I can’t put it in words, but I would say that I don’t believe that the execution of Andrew Brannan, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, with no prior criminal history, whatsoever, who is unquestionably suffering from both bi-polar disorder and PTSD – that execution can’t solve anything, and that it can’t in any way fill the void I know they must feel.”
Loveland then released a public statement where he exclaimed, “On behalf of Andrew Brannan and his family, we are profoundly disappointed in the decision of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny clemency. The death of Deputy Sheriff Kyle Dinkheller was a terrible tragedy. Executing a 66-year-old decorated Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal record who was seriously ill at the time of the crime only compounds the tragedy.”
This was a very difficult task for the parole board because although the man was a war veteran they had to be biased and look at what should be done according to their laws. Many would argue that it was the wrong decision, but they choose to deny Brannan because they feel that he was sane during the time of the event, and that his war history did not relate to the incident that occurred in 1998.
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