Merle Wilberding, Dayton attorney and Rotarian, represented the U.S. Army in appeals by Lt. William Calley in the My Lai Massacre case during the Vietnam war.
Following his graduation in 1969 from the University of Notre Dame Law School, Wilberding was drafted and received a direct commission  in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG), where he was assigned to the Appellate Division.  In the meantime, on March 16, 1968 the My Lai massacre had taken place--the mass murder of unarmed South Vietnam civilians following the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam war.
 
Lt. William Calley was convicted of murder in his Army Court Martial, and Merle Wilberding was assigned to assist in the Army's defense of the conviction. Although 400-600 people were killed, Calley received much support in the court of public opinion, particularly from the south and west. 
 
Calley was found guilty of murdering 22 villagers and was originally given a life sentence, but he served only three and a half years under house arrest after President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence. Looking back Merle Wilberding believes Calley and the others should have been guided by common sense, as illustrated by the those in Calley's group who refused to act.
 
A most interesting presentation!