Scott Pemberton
Source: NY Times

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has granted absolute pardon to US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton. Pemberton was convicted for the death of a transgender woman in 2014.

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Foreign Affairs Secretary of Philippines, Teodoro Locsin Jr., announced that,

“Cutting matters short over what constitutes time served, and since where he was detained was not in the prisoner’s control—and to do justice—the President has granted an absolute pardon to Pemberton. Here at the Palace.”

Pemberton was convicted by the court for killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014. The US Marine came to the Philippines for taking part in a regular military exercise. On October 11, 2014, Laude and  Scott Pemberton met at a club. They left for a nearby motel after some time. According to the police, the US Marine left the motel room leaving Laude dead. She has a strangulation mark on her neck and partially naked. Her head was inside the toilet bowl. The reason for death was said to be asphyxiation.

The US Navy immediately detained him in his ship and then in Camp Aguinaldo, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He is in detention in the camp since then.

With the eyewitness and evidence left at the motel, Pemberton was convicted. One of the condoms found in the motel and the rapper of it had fingerprints of the US Marine, investigated US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory. 

Recently, Olongapo Regional Trial Court allowed the release of Scott Pemberton. The court observed that the US marine has already spent 10 years of maximum penalty in the case, taking the good conduct time allowances into the account.