BOISE, Idaho - Two Idaho Congressional leaders have sent letters to President George W. Bush asking him to pardon an Idaho soldier convicted earlier this year of unpremeditated murder while on a mission in Iraq.
U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, both Republicans, sent the letters this week.
Sgt. Evan Vela, a 24-year-old Army sniper assigned to Fort Richardson, was convicted in February and sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing an unarmed Iraqi civilian who stumbled upon him and five other soldiers sleeping on May 11, 2007.
Simpson in his letter says he's concerned Vela is being treated as a scapegoat.
Crapo says Vela's conviction creates "uncertain and dangerous operational environments for commanders and soldiers involved in day-to-day combat missions."