(CBS Local)– In August 2013, former U.S. Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance was sentenced 20 years in prison for two counts of second-degree murder.
Lorance, who spent parts of his life living in Texas, was convicted after ordering soldiers in his platoon to open fire at civilians in Afghanistan. A new Starz docu-series from Steven Soderbergh and Paul Pawlowski re-examines Lorance’s story. The series features interviews with members of Lorance’s platoon like Mike McGuinness, journalists, and high ranking military officials like retired U.S. Army general and former director of the CIA David Petreaus. For both Pawlowski and McGuinness, it is important to have nuance when discussing Lorance.
“Like most filmmakers, you are always looking for an amazing story… a story with stakes and a story with relevance and this had it all in spades to say the least, said Pawloski in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “The more you peeled away the layers, the more there was to be examined. We were just diligent to unpack those things and go straight to the voice and the people that had been there. We had an important story and knew it needed to be handled responsibly.”
“I told everyone that if they had contacted me a year and a half earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” said McGuinness. “It’s a very surreal thing to sit there and talk about the worst day of your life over and over and over again. I’d like to think for the most of us in the platoon that we are in better spots now. It is a little bit easier to talk about. We still think what we did was right, but the visceral feelings we initially had have lessened.”
While there have been pleas for President Trump to pardon Lorance, there hasn’t been any movement on that front. This story has been politicized on both sides of the aisle and this is one of the things that McGuinness dislikes the most about the current state of our politics.
“I’m proud of the people I got to serve with… that’s what I take away most. I got to meet some great people,” said McGuinness. “I have never been comfortable with the veneration we have for service members and veterans. Honestly, there is nothing more uncomfortable when someone comes up and says thank you for your service. You don’t know how to react the right way. We are just normal people doing this really weird job. For some people it might be a calling or a family thing. I understand that, but we are just people that are trying to figure things out as we go based on guidance from people we hardly ever see. I think we did the best we could under those conditions. I have children and I would strongly recommend to my kids to not put a uniform on.”
“Leavenworth” premieres Sunday, October 20 at 9:30pm EST/PST on Starz.