McGeorge School of Law

Low's Client Gains Freedom After Split Verdict

August 4, 2007

A Camp Pendleton jury on August 3 sentenced a Marine corporal defended by Joseph Low, '97, to time served and reduced his rank to private for conspiring to kill an Iraqi man. Manteca native Marshall Magincalda had already served 448 days in custody.

He was acquitted of murder and cleared of making a false official statement. The Iraqi civilian was pulled from his home in April 2006 and shot in a hole, with an AK-47 and shovel placed nearby to make him look like an insurgent planting a bomb, according to the prosecution. Magincalda was not accused of firing any shots, but under military law he was as culpable as those who did because he allegedly did nothing to stop the killing. He faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted of premeditated murder. Magincalda's jury included five enlisted men and one officer. Military juries need only a two-thirds majority to convict. Low is a former Marine who took the case on a pro bono basis.