Following a 10-month legal saga, Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher was found not guilty for the murder of an Islamic State fighter during a 2017 deployment to Iraq.
The jury, however, did find Chief Gallagher guilty of inappropriately posing with a dead fighter for a photograph. For this, the SEAL received a four-month prison sentence, a reduction in rank from chief petty officer (E-7) to petty officer 1st class (E-6), and a subsequent reduction in salary and pension. Given the fact that Chief Gallagher has already spent more than 200 days in pretrial confinement, his prison sentenced is automatically negated.
The jury was most likely comprised of predominately United States Marine Corps officers with combat experience.
According to the Navy Times, Chief Gallagher was intentionally targeted by his subordinate SEALs of Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7, who said they didn’t like his leadership style. Alongside the murder accusations, a number of Alpha Platoon SEALs had also accused Chief Gallagher of shooting two civilians with a sniper rifle. The jury found these charges to be unsubstantiated.