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William Calley

American Army Lt. William Calley (born June 8, 1943) was convicted on March 29, 1971 of premeditated murder for his role in the March 1968 My Lai massacre, a war crime committed during the Vietnam War. Calley ordered the men of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, American Division to shoot everyone in the village.

Calley was seen by some as a scapegoat for the Army's failure to instill morale and discipline in its troops. Nevertheless, despite having ordered his troops to commit a massacre, he ultimately received a light sentence. He was initially sentenced to life in prison, but President Richard Nixon ordered him released from prison. Calley served 3 1/2 years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning, Georgia and was then released in 1974 by a federal judge.

See also: Vietnam War

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