Lynndie England, a 22-year-old clerk in the Army who was photographed with naked Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, was sentenced on Tuesday to three years in prison and a dishonorable discharge for her role in the scandal.
Defense attorneys also sought to show that Abu Ghraib was a chaotic, unpleasant place that was frequently under attack. Due to personnel shortages, support soldiers like Private England were sometimes called on to assist prison guards, they said.
Stjepan Mestrovic, a sociology professor at Texas A&M University who was called by the defense, said the officers in charge were responsible for confusion about rules of conduct and unclear lines of authority.
The defense also suggested that the harsh treatment of prisoners stemmed from the presence of military intelligence personnel, who wanted prisoners softened up. But under prosecution questioning, Private Graner admitted that no military intelligence personnel had been present on the night of Nov. 7, 2003, when prisoners were mistreated, the New York Times reported.