On Thursday, Sgt. Robert Bales apologized for killing 16 Afghan civilians, saying it was “an act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear, bullshit, and bravado.” Bales has pleaded guilty to avoid a death sentence, and a military jury will now decide if his life sentence includes a chance of parole. “I’m truly, truly sorry to those people whose families got taken away,” Bales said. “If I could bring their family members back, I would in a heartbeat.” The court heard character testimony from his brother, a fellow army officer, and a former high school football teammate. For the past two days, nine Afghans testified against Bales, including one man who lost 11 family members in the March 2012 attack.
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