25 Most Well Known News Websites

National News Websites

1. CNN


Americans flock to this site for their daily dose of news. CNN provides news categories, like world news, travel news, entertainment news, politics, and more.



MSNBC has a variety of news categories with drop down menus for easy location of top news stories.

3. CBS News


CBS News enhances its multitude of news reports with photographs and videos, for a visually pleasing news website.

4. ABC News


ABC News is respected for a user-friendly format, including videos and news stories in an interface with high usability.

5.  Fox News


Fox News is thought to have a right wing or conservative bias and reports national and international news, with an emphasis on US issues.

6.  Associated Press


The Associated Press provides news stories to other news outlets and offers a good index of news, but the website interface is not as intuitive as other major news websites.

International News Websites

7. http://www.BBC.co.uk

This British news site is one of the most well-known sources for international news globally. The website is offered in 23 languages.

8. http://www.GuardianNews.com

A popular British source for news, the Guardian is typically thought to have left-wing or liberal bias.

9. http://www.Reuters.com

Sticklers for avoiding bias, Reuters even refuses to use the word terrorist. This news source was founded in London but is now headquartered in New York.

10. http://www.GlobalPost.com

11. World News


World News provides international news in 49 languages for a highly accessible news source.

12. News.com


This Australian news website offers Australian national news and international news in a variety of categories.

Newspaper News Websites

13. The New York Times


With a history of liberal bias, the New York Times is a staple of American culture as a news source.

14.  The Washington Post


The Washington Post is popular in the United States for breaking news and international coverage.

15. USA Today


The USA Today website has news categories like science, weather, world, national, technology, travel, entertainment, and more.

Magazine News Websites

16. Time


For years, Time has been one of the top news magazines in the United States. The website is an extension of this great publication.

Online Portal News Websites

17.  Yahoo


Yahoo is one of the oldest online portal websites, and their news page is still extraordinarily popular.

18. Google


With huge popularity as an online portal, Google is offering news service that automatically tailors itself to your interests based upon search records.

Social News Websites

19. Digg


Digg is an all-inclusive social media news source that can be customized according to your interests.

20. Stumble Upon


Social media news site Stumble Upon offers news stories of interest to you based upon what you have looked at in the past and your interests.

21. Editions


Editions creates a news magazine format based upon your interests and past searches.

22. Reddit


This site has a very simple interface, but a large user population despite the primitive look to the website.

23. Plime


A stylishly designed format, Plime offers a wiki community with categories of news stories and forums for discussion.

24. NewsVine

Members can vote on articles and even write their own, but the articles are not listed according to the number of votes on this news site.

Links to More Specific News Websites

25. News Link


This site offers links to news sources in countries all over the world. It also provides links to news outlets for specific subject areas.

45 Great Criminal Justice Blogs

With hundreds of great criminal justice blogs to choose from on the internet, it can be hard to choose the right one.  Our 45 top picks are split up into categories that help you focus on your exact criminal justice interests.

General Criminal Justice Blogs

1.  Criminal Justice News


Taking a holistic approach to criminal justice events and advice, this blog is targeted at CJ students, lawyers and those already in the profession, but can provide interesting reading (and great advice) for the general public.

2.  The Crime Report


This is a comprehensive news service related to criminal justice issues across the board.

3.  Criminal Justice Degrees Guide Blog


Filled with interesting historical and current event stories and lists, this blog is a fun read for anyone interested in criminal justice.

4.  Crime and Consequences Blog


This Criminal Justice Legal Foundation blog addresses the entire criminal justice profession, with more emphasis on the law/courts issues and events.

5.  Pacific Crime Blog


Using legal cases and police actions from the West Coast, this blog addresses a variety of criminal justice issues.

Criminal Justice Policy

This collection of bloggers is generally concerned with policy reform or improving the criminal justice system.

6.  Over criminalized


Blog entries on Overcriminalized.com call into question the reach of government into the rights of Americans and other criminal justice reform issues.

7.  Pulse Criminal Justice


Pulse is a blog centered on the treatment of the mentally ill or unstable within the criminal justice system.

8.  Innocence Project


Birthed out of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project addresses issues relating to wrongful convictions.

9.  Criminal Profiling


True stories illustrate how criminal profiling affects police work and convictions.

10.  Sentencing Law and Policy


As the title indicates, this blog is concerned with the issues and policies surrounding the sentencing process and punishments for crimes in the US.

11.  Stand Down Texas Project


Musings related to criminal justice policy within the state of Texas, specifically the death penalty.

12.  The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog


This blog addresses prison reform, sentencing, and other related criminal justice topics.

13.  Fourth Amendment Blog


The Fourth Amendment blog focuses on search and seizure rights and responsibilities in the United States, citing current events and legal precedents that have already been set.

14.  Think Outside the Cage


TOTC is a blog by the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition that targets an ever-expanding prison system and the CJ policies that are necessitating it.

Criminal and Social Psychology Blogs

Blogs that get inside people’s heads for the purpose of more effective criminal justice practices.

15.  All About Forensic Psychology


Geared toward students, this blog not only addresses psychological issues relating to criminal justice, it also recommends books, apps, and more for Forensic Psychology students.

16.  Neuroethics and Law Blog


Adam Kolber, a professor at Brooklyn Law, blogs about ethical and legal issues relating to the brain.

17.  Social Psychology Arena


A great general source site for a wide variety of social psychology issues, this blog offers categorized articles in the disciplines of social psychology.

18.  The Situationist


A blog by the project on law and mind sciences at Harvard Law School addresses the foundations of law and criminal justice policy and their fallacies.

Civil Liberties Blogs

The following is a list of blogs in which bloggers muse on individual rights in the United States.

19.  Blog of Rights: Because Freedom Can’t Blog Itself


This is the official blog of the American Civil Liberties Union, bringing information, current events, policy issues, and citizen rights advice to light.

20.  Tales of a Public Defender Investigator


An award-winning criminal law blog focused on individual rights in the legal system, Tales of a Public Defender Investigator offers advice, notifications and criminal justice news.

21.  Public Defender Dude


California public defender champions the rights of individuals and comments on the legal system in the United States with a down-to-earth writing style.

22.  Sex Crime Defender


Maine criminal defense lawyer Stephen Smith addresses cases and policies relating to the rights of those accused of sex crimes.

23.  Lawrence Taylor’s DUI Blog


Lawrence Taylor, respected and highly experienced California DUI defense lawyer, blogs about the rights of individuals who have been charged with DWI/DUI and other legal issues.

24.  Evidence Prof Blog


Colin Miller, Assistant Law Professor at Marshall Law in Chicago, address individual rights in relationship to the legal system.

Blogs about Federal Criminal Justice Issues

National criminal justice policies, laws, and court cases affect all of the nation’s population.  These blogs call attention to the federal issues that shape life for the rest of us.

25.  American Constitution Society for Law and Policy


With a purpose of encouraging and shaping debate, the ACSLP blogs about current events and policies in national criminal justice.

26.  Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers: When the FBI Comes Calling…


The thoughts and reflections on federal criminal justice on this blog are from the perspective of lawyers who handle only federal criminal defense cases.

27.  Prevention Works


This blog by the National Crime Prevention Council informs US citizens in an attempt to prevent crimes in the nation.

American Police Blogs

These blogs based in the United States offer a taste of what it is like to walk the beat in an American city.  They range from personal journals by police officers to more official department blogs.

28.  The Philosophical Cop Police Blog


The Philosophical Cop is a blogger who primarily targets the current events and issues relating directly to police departments or involving controversial cop cases, but there are a few other thoughts and reflections thrown in as well.

29.  Cop in the Hood


Peter Moskos, author of the book In Defense of Flogging, comments on life as a police officer with smart and sarcastic overtones.

30.  Positive LEO


This lighthearted and uplifting blog celebrates the positives of police life and the law enforcement profession.

31.  LAPD Blog


The official blog of the Los Angeles police department announces department news, current events, and more about police work in one of the largest police departments in the United States.

32.  MotorCop:  If You Got Stopped…You Deserved It


The humorous reflections of a motorcycle police officer in California are the heart of this fun-to-read blog.

33.  Boston Police Department Virtual Community Blog


The BPD blog reflects life in the Boston PD, including recent occurrences, upcoming events, and past gatherings with interesting writing and photos.

34.  Mr. Policeman Blog


An in-your-face journal from a police officer in California doesn’t shy away from any subject on his mind.

35.  From Cop to Mom and the Words In Between


A retired female police officer reflects on life on the force, current events, and more.

36.  Guardian Leadership


The advice and experiences from a retired police chief (Rochester, NY) geared toward current police force managerial training and improvement.

American Law Blogs

Blogs by attorneys and paralegals in the United States reflect on the criminal justice system from a court-centric perspective.

37.  Law of Criminal Defense Blog


Little Rock criminal defense lawyer John Wesley Hall Jr. blogs about defense cases, policy and more.

38.  Underdog


Blogger Jon Katz is a criminal defense lawyer focusing on DWI/DUI cases with a quirky writing style that makes for an interesting read.

39.  Defending People


Mark Bennett is a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, Texas who blogs about criminal trial ins and outs, which he calls an art and a science.

40.  Supreme Court of the United States Blog


A blog centered on Supreme Court cases and sponsored by Bloomberg Law.

41.  Blonde Justice


An anonymous female public defender takes on an Elle Woods persona to address legal issues in a humorous way.

42.  International Criminal, Extradition and Immigration Defense News


Stories, news, and advice from an experienced Florida defense attorney in international issues fill this blog.

43.  Paralegals Blog


The thoughts, news, and current events in the legal system on this blog are written from the viewpoint of paralegals.

Criminal Justice Blogs from the UK

A look at the criminal justice profession from the other side of the pond both reflects life in America and shows up some differences.

44.  Blues and Twos Blog


This British police blog offers advice on helpful gear and other thoughts on current events from a police officer’s perspective.

45.  Police Inspector Blog


This witty and sometimes sarcastic blogger addresses current events, criminal justice bureaucracy, and more with a great deal of common sense and a dash of British humor.

50 Most Prolific Legal Bloggers

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Legal News Blogs

1. Law Blog (The Wall Street Journal)


Current legal events are tracked on this blog, offering multiple posts each day, in a news report format.

2.  The Official LawInfo Blog


This prolific blog posts several times a day on all the latest legal events.  Posts are categorized in a variety of legal issues.

3.  JD Journal


JD Journal keeps up with current events and trends in the legal profession and community.

4.  Legal News Blog


News blog entries on this site jump from one topic to another for a lively blog on current legal news.

5.  Legal Info 360


Legal news from across the nation makes the cut on this up-to-the-minute site.

Please Approach the Bench – Blogs by Lawyers

6.  The Nutmeg Lawyer


Adrian Mark Baron, a Connecticut lawyer and published writer, blogs about life as a lawyer with wit and humor.

7.  Simple Justice


New York criminal defense blogger Scott H. Greenfield keeps up a steady output of commentary on all things legal.

8. Man O’ Law


A prosecutor puts it all on the table with an irreverent take on the legal process.

9.  Underdog


Jon Katz, criminal defense lawyer, focuses his witty entries on DUI/DWI law and related issues.

Teacher! Teacher! – Law Professor Blogs

10.  The Work Place Prof Blog


This is a gathering place for law professors, with thoughts about working in law schools.

11.  PrawfsBlawg


PrawfsBlawg offers a frank look at the legal profession and law schools from the perspective of law professorship.

12.  Concurring Opinions


Concurring Opinions is a group blog with law professors and lawyers as contributors.

13.  Law Culture


Professors from Harvard, Princeton, and UCLA Law Schools weigh in on a range of legal issues.

14.  The Becker-Posner Blog


Law professors Gary Becker and Richard Posner comment on a range of issues in world news, the legal profession and more.

15.  Eugene Volokh


UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes a blog that is divided by category rather than date and has a wealth of entries.

Law and Order – Blogs on the Legal Process

16.  Crime and Consequences


The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation blogs on the entire legal process, from crime to sentencing.

17.  Supreme Court of the United States Blog


This blog sponsored by Bloomberg Law offers routine commentary on Supreme Court cases, decisions, and events.

18.  Sentencing Law and Policy


This law professor blog addresses sentencing policy and reform issues.

In Search of a Degree – Law School Blogs

19.  Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports


Leiter is prolific in his communication of thoughts on a variety of law school topics.

20.  Tillers on Evidence and Inference


Law School Student and his take on life in the pursuit of legal knowledge fills this blog.

21.  JD2B Blog


This blog from a social networking site for law students lots of entries on issues that are of interest to students in legal profession.

22.  Lawyerist


Blog entries focus on advice and news for law students in a fast-paced writing style that keeps you reading.

23.  Legal Careers


Appropriately named, Legal Careers blogs about the specific fields and positions to which law degrees can lead.

24.  Ms JD


Ms JD is an all girls site by a group of bloggers addressing law school issues for a community of female law students.

25.  Money Law


Multiple authors, led by Jim Chen (Dean of the Louis D Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville), keep up with law school issues on this blog.

Hmmm…Let Me Think About That – Legal Philosophy and Theory

26.  Legal Theory Blog


This blog offers thousands of posts in a wide range of categories relating to legal theory.

27.  Empirical Legal Studies


The numerous entries on the Empirical Legal Studies blog concentrate on legal methodology and theory.

28.  Legal Ethics Forum


Ethics in law is a hot topic right now.  The Legal Ethics Forum brings up topics for discussion, controversial news stories, and legal cases relating to ethics and law.

29.  Mirror of Justice


The Mirror of Justice blog is devoted to legal theory within the Catholic Church, a culture of its own, with the Vatican as the central legal hub.

30.  Overlawyered


Walter Olson is the editor of Overlawyered, which is distinguished as the oldest known law blog.  A wealth of information and prolific blogging keep this site going strong.

What Makes the System Tick – Legal Policy Blogs

31.  American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Blog


Criminal Justice policy and constitutional issues are the heart of this blog by the ACSLP.

32.  The Blog of Legal Times


This Washington D.C. blog comments on politics and law.

33.  Court-O-Rama


Court-o-rama covers all areas of the courtroom dynamic, including judges, juries, counsel, and more.

34.  Wage Law


Bloggers from Walsh and Walsh in California tackle issues in legal policy regarding wage law in this blog.

35.  Out-Law


International law firm Pinsent-Masons blogs about legal policy and current events.

Laughter is Good Medicine – Legal Humor Blogs

36.  The Namby Pamby


A Chicago Lawyer gives a humorous spin to her blogs about court life and other legal issues.

37.  Lowering the Bar: Legal Humor.  Seriously.


Kevin Underhill, San Francisco lawyer, highlights the humorous side of the legal profession and the cases in the news every day.

38.  Bitter Lawyer


Bitter Lawyer is an in-your-face, somewhat off-color comedic look at law and life.

39.  Legally Drawn


Attorney Vasanth Sarathy writes this cartoon-based, legal comedy blog.

40.  Constitutional Daily


Constitutional Daily offers a hilarious look at current events in law, the weird interactions lawyers have, and real life courtroom humor.

41.  LOLawyer: Because Law Doesn’t Have to Be Boring


LOLawyer is a legally-themed, humorous blog with real life stories and funny (or satiric) situations.

The Leftovers – General Legal Blogs

42.  Blawg.com


A huge number of blog articles fill the categories on this general legal blog site.

43.  The Conglomerate


All areas of the law are addressed in daily blogs on this legal site by multiple authors.

44.  Nancy Rapoport’s Blog


Nancy Rapoport is a professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law in Nevada. She blogs on a wide variety general interest legal issues.

45.  The Law Insider


The point of this blog is to make the legal implications of pop culture news stories clear to the masses.

46.  Hollywood Esq.


This entertaining and informative blog highlights the legal issues in Hollywood, especially in regards to the entertainment industry.

47.  Above the Law


Above the Law is a blog written by multiple authors on a wide variety of legal issues, filling it with interesting tidbits on just about any legal subject.

48.  The Michigan Lawyer


The writers of Michigan Lawyers Weekly join together to blog on legal issues in the state of Michigan.

49.  The Paper Chase


Legal and information are the number one goal of this general legal blog by The Jurist.

50.  Grits for Breakfast


Raved about in reviews and law forums, Grits for Breakfast provides fabulous prose-style comments on the Texas legal system with humor and wit.

10 Greatest Bank Heists of All Time

Bank robberies are a favorite subject of both printed fiction and movies, but some pretty spectacular thefts have occurred in real life too.  Here are some of the most expensive bank heists of all time from around the world.

1.  Largest Sum Stolen from a Bank in History

In 2003, Saddam Hussein stole one billion US dollars from the Central Bank of Iraq on the day before the US began its attack on Baghdad, constituting the largest bank robbery in history.  Saddam’s personal assistants Qusay and Abid al-Hamid Mahmood were identified by bank officials as being involved in the heist.  Just over 650 million dollars of the stolen money was found hidden within the walls of one of Hussein’s palaces.  Other large caches of money were found in strategic locations that also pointed to Saddam having masterminded the operation.

2.  These Security Guards Weren’t Asleep on the Job

Saddam’s regime was not the only group to take advantage of the instability in the Middle East.  In 2007, Dar Es Salaam (a private bank located in Baghdad) was looted by a group of night security guards who usually slept at the bank.  The doors were left open and the money.  As far as bank heists go, it was very unsophisticated but effective.  The guards were never caught.

3.  Landscaping Investment Pays Off

A team of thieves in Brazil tunnel their way to millions.  After intense planning, this group of criminals established a landscaping business as a front that would allow them to move massive amounts of dirt and rock without arousing suspicion.  They constructed a 250 foot tunnel, complete with lighting and air conditioning, over the course of three months to gain access to the vault in Fortaleza, Brazil’s Banco Central.  The gang made off with the equivalent of approximately $70 million US dollars.

4.  Heist Crew Goes to Church and Comes out with a Fortune

The British Bank of the Middle East (located in Beirut) was robbed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1976 by accessing the building through the wall of a Catholic church next door.  The PLO group got away with $20-50 million dollars in this memorable heist.

5.  An Explosive Hostage Situation in France

In 1992, a group of around 10 Frenchmen exploited a security guard’s love of his family to gain entrance to the vaults of the Bank of France in Toulon.  Holding the family hostage, they strapped explosives to the chest of the guard and forced him to let them in and plunder the vaults for a haul of about $30 million.  Less than ten percent of the loot was ever recovered, even though most of the thieves have been arrested.

6.  Bank Robbery on Wheels

$18.9 million is the largest amount of cash stolen in United States history.  It was lifted by Allen Pace in the Dunbar Armored Heist during a bank transfer  He was the regional safety inspector for the Dunbar Armored transport company, so he was able to do his surveillance and planning right out in the open.  A piece of a U-Haul tail light at the scene from the get-away vehicle is what eventually led police to arrest Pace.

7.  From Vault to Van to Prison

In 1997, Loomis-Fargo and Company was looted to the tune of $17.9 million by its own employee, armored truck driver David Scott Ghannt, who was also a vault supervisor.  He and his partner Steve Chambers raided the vault, threw the money in a van, and took off.  Ghannt fled to Cozumel where he was apprehended by Mexican police and the FBI.

8.  With Friends like These, Who Needs Enemies?

Stanley Mark Rifkin pulled off the largest bank heist on US soil at the time in 1978, when he stole $10.8 million from Security Pacific National Bank.  Rifkin was practically flawless in his execution of the crime; the bank had to be notified by the FBI that they had been robbed because they didn’t even realize it.  However, he should have given as much attention to detail in choosing his business partners.  One of them ratted him out to the FBI.

9.  Bank Employees Unwilling Accomplices in a Massive Heist

Ireland’s largest bank heist is the stuff of which movies are made.  Thought to be the work of the Dublin mob, this thefts was performed by a group of armed men who took bank employees Shane Travers and his loved ones hostage in order to steal $9 million from the Bank of Ireland.  The bank’s security practices have been called into question because the robbery went off without a hitch and took less than fifteen minutes.

10.  Rob a Bank so You can Win the Lottery?

In the largest bank theft in Chinese history, the thieves stole in order to buy lottery tickets.  Bank vault managers Ren Xiaofeng and Ma Xiangjing committed a series of robberies from the Architectural Bank of China, totaling the equivalent of $6.7 million dollars in Chinese Yuan.  They even paid back some of the stolen money with winnings, but they were not lucky enough at the lotto to pay it all back.

9 Largest Drug Trafficking Busts

1. Hashish Stash Seized from the Taliban

The war in Afghanistan and Iraq has created a period of instability that has been exploited by a number of criminal groups.  The drug trafficking world is no exception.  Hidden in the Kandahar area within trenches and bunkers, almost $300 million worth of hashish was found in 2008.  That is about 260 tons of drugs removed from circulation.

2.  Coast Guard Cracks Down on Coke

Approximately 40,000 pounds of cocaine was seized by the Coast Guard on a ship in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Panama.  This drug bust has an estimated street value of around $500 million

3.  Cops Ecstatic over Drug Bust

Australian Federal Police busted an operation in Melbourne in 2008, taking around 4.4 million Ecstasy pills off the streets.  Estimated at $288 million street value, the removal of the drugs is a significant hit to the Australian club scene.

4.  Largest Drug Raid in Mexican History

In 2010, the Mexican police pulled in the biggest drug bust in the country’s history.  $400 million worth of marijuana was seized in a warehouse raid in Tijuana.  Some of the packages in the 105 tons of drugs were labeled with cartoons of Homer Simpson saying, “I’m gonna get high, Dude!”

5.  A Hit to the Colombian Drug Cartel

A 1984 raid of Pablo Escobar’s laboratory ‘Tranquilandia’ in Medellin gave officials 14 tons of cocaine, valued at more $1 billion.  Escobar, the cartel boss in Medellin is a legend in the Colombian drug production world.

6.  One of the Largest Drug Busts in History is Seeds?

Afghanistan produces over ninety percent of the world’s opium supply.  This country in turmoil was the scene of another huge drug bust in 2008 when 17.5 tons of poppy seeds were seized by officials.  The raw ingredients for the drugs would net around $1.8 billion.

7.  Riverside Coke Bust

Along the banks of the River Mira in Colombia, the Colombian police and the Navy found 13.8 tons of cocaine hidden, with a street value of $350 million.  The drugs were stashed by paramilitary groups funding conflicts around the world.

8.  Buried Treasure in Pizarro?

2007 brought the largest Colombian drug bust in that country’s history.  The Colombian Navy seized 27 tons of cocaine.  The stash was buried near Pizarro in 55 pound packages, 919 of them.

9.  Enormous LA Cocaine Bust Seizes Mexican Cartel Cache

In 1989, 21 tons of cocaine was obtained by drug officials in a Los Angeles warehouse raid.  It was allegedly the property of Rafael Munoz Talavera, head of the Juarez cartel, and had a street value of $6.9 billion.

Photos show GIs posing with Afghan man’s corpse

Published: March 20, 2011

SEATTLE – The German news organization Der Spiegel published photographs Sunday showing two U.S. soldiers posing with the corpse of an Afghan civilian they’re accused of murdering.

The photos were among several seized by Army investigators looking into the deaths of three unarmed Afghans last year. Five soldiers based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle, have been charged with murder and conspiracy in the case.

Due to their content, the photographs were placed under a strict protective order that initially prevented even defense attorneys from obtaining copies.

One of the published photographs shows a key figure in the investigation, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, grinning as he lifts the head of a corpse by the hair. Der Spiegel identified the body as that of Gul Mudin, whom Morlock claims to have killed with Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Holmes on Jan. 15, 2010, in Kandahar Province.

Another photo shows Holmes, of Boise, Idaho, lifting the same corpse by the hair. His lawyer said Sunday that he was ordered to be in the photo, which was taken while the platoon leader, Lt. Roman Ligsay, was present.

Ligsay has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to testify in the legal proceedings against his troops.

“They ordered him to be in the photo, so he got in the photo,” attorney Daniel Conway said. “That doesn’t make him a murderer.”

A third photo depicts two apparently dead men propped against a small pillar. Der Spiegel said the photo was seized from a member of the platoon, but did not involve the deaths being investigated as war crimes. Soldiers have told investigators that such photos of dead bodies were passed around like trading cards on thumb drives and other digital storage devices.

“Today Der Spiegel published photographs depicting actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army,” the Army said in a statement released by Col. Thomas Collins. “We apologize for the distress these photos cause.”

The killings at issue occurred during patrols in January, February and May 2010. After the first death, one member of the platoon, Spc. Adam Winfield, sent Facebook messages to his parents, telling them his colleagues had slaughtered one civilian, were planning to kill more and warned him to keep quiet about it.

His father notified a staff sergeant at Lewis-McChord, but no action was taken until May, when a witness in a drug investigation in the unit separately reported the deaths. Winfield is accused of participating in the final killing.

Morlock has given extensive statements claiming the murder plot was led by Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs of Billings, Mont.; Gibbs maintains the killings were legitimate.

Morlock told investigators he and Holmes shot Mudin without cause; Holmes says that he fired when Morlock told him to, believing that Morlock had perceived a legitimate threat.

Morlock’s court martial was scheduled for Wednesday. He has agreed to plead guilty to murder, conspiracy and other charges and to testify against his co-defendants in exchange for a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison.

One of his lawyers, Geoffrey Nathan, said while Morlock might be “physically responsible” for his crimes, including actions depicted in the photograph, “the people who are morally responsible are the American leaders who have us in the wrong war at the wrong time.” In addition to the five soldiers charged in the deaths, seven soldiers in the platoon were charged with lesser crimes, including assaulting the witness in the drug investigation, drug use, firing on unarmed farmers and stabbing a corpse.

Associated Press writers Richard Lardner contributed from Washington, and Kirsten Grieshaber and Tomislav Skaro contributed from Berlin.

Soldier May Testify Against Comrades in Afghan Killings, Lawyer Says

Published: February 11, 2011

SEATTLE – The cases against four of the Army soldiers accused of killing three unarmed Afghan civilians for sport last year could hinge on a fifth soldier whose lawyer said he was prepared to plead guilty to the crimes and testify against the others.

U.S. Army, via Associated Press

Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock has signed a confession. The fifth soldier, Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock, 22, who is accused in all three deaths, has signed a detailed confession as part of his effort to avoid a life sentence. Specialist Morlock, who is scheduled to face a court-martial on March 3, is seeking a sentence of 24 years.

The lawyer, Geoffrey Nathan, said prosecutors had agreed to the deal, though Army officials said Friday that they would not comment on the matter. A military judge would have to approve any plea deal and could alter any sentence in it.

A copy of the so-called stipulation of fact accompanying the plea offer and obtained by The New York Times is signed by Specialist Morlock and an Army defense lawyer but not by an Army prosecutor. The Washington Post has previously reported that a plea agreement is in place. Specialist Morlock and Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs are the only two soldiers who have been accused in all three killings, which took place in January, February and May of last year. In the stipulation of fact, Specialist Morlock repeated his assertions that Sergeant Gibbs was the ringleader. All five soldiers, members of a Stryker Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State who were based near Kandahar, Afghanistan, are accused of faking combat situations to justify killing Afghans with grenades and guns.

“During the entire incident, the Accused knew that the Afghan was unarmed and no threat to himself or any of his fellow Soldiers,” the stipulation says, referring to the killing in May. “There was no lawful justification or excuse for the killing or any of the actions taken by the Accused during the shooting of the Afghan male.”

Specialist Morlock, who is from Wasilla, Alaska, has previously implicated himself and other soldiers in the killings, including in video statements that were broadcast on television last fall. His lawyers had sought to discredit those statements, saying that Specialist Morlock was under the influence of prescription medications and not mentally competent at the time.

“He knows what he’s up against,” Mr. Nathan, a civilian lawyer, said in explaining why his client is now pursuing the plea deal. “We have fully educated him as to his risk factors.”

All five of the soldiers have been referred for court-martial. Two of them, Specialist Michael Wagnon and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, were referred only recently, around the time that Specialist Morlock’s stipulation was drafted on Jan. 28.

Last year, Specialist Morlock initially did not implicate Specialist Wagnon in the killings, but later said he had been involved in the February shooting. According to Specialist Morlock’s signed stipulation, when Sergeant Gibbs asked him to participate, Specialist Wagnon responded, “This isn’t my first rodeo; I’m in.”

Colby Vokey, a civilian lawyer for Specialist Wagnon, said his client is innocent. “In order to get a deal,” he said. “Morlock is compelled to offer testimony against others, including Wagnon.”

“We are definitely going to trial,” he added. “Michael Wagnon has not had anything to do with any kind of planned killing of any person whatsoever.”

Lawyers for the other defendants also said they expected their cases to go to trial. A lawyer for Specialist Adam C. Winfield, who is accused in the May killing, said that his client had pursued a plea deal but had been unable to come to terms with Army prosecutors.

Lawyers in the case say two photographs show Specialist Morlock and Specialist Holmes holding up the heads of dead Afghans as their bodies lie on the ground. But they dispute how effective the photographs would be as evidence. Physical evidence in the case is limited, with investigators admitting they did not do detailed crime scene investigations out of concern that Afghan villagers would become angry if they learned the killings were suspicious.

“Their own mouths convicted them, their own statements,” Mr. Nathan said. “Other than that, there’s no evidence. There are no bodies.”

A version of this article appeared in print on February 12, 2011, on page A11 of the New York edition