Former PA Prison Guard Released after Six Years in Military Prison

Former PA corrections officer Charles Graner was released from the military stockade in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on August 6, after serving only six years of a ten-year sentence for crimes committed against Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Graner was court-martialed and convicted in 2005 of conspiracy to commit maltreatment, dereliction of duty, and assault consummated by battery and indecent acts.

Graner was previously employed as a guard at Fayette County Jail and by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at SCI Greene. In 1999, he was one of five officers and administrators named in a lawsuit by a former prisoner, Horatio Nimley, who alleged officers put a razor blade into his mashed potatoes. Another former prisoner, Nick Yarris, characterized Graner’s code of conduct in a 2004 article in the Washington Post. He describes him bragging after taunting anti-death penalty protesters who had gathered outside the prison, using racial slurs, and telling a Muslim prisoner that he had rubbed pork all over his food tray. Graner was sent home from work one day in 1994 for spraying mace into a coworker’s coffee, making him sick as a joke

By 2001, he had been issued three protection of abuse orders from his spouse before being enlisted to train soldiers participating in Iraq Military Operations “Enduring Freedom” and “Noble Eagle.” Graner was one of 11 officers prosecuted for war crimes that occurred at Abu Ghraib, though no ranking officers or government officials have ever been held accountable for torture.

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