Friday, November 21, 2008

Army schedules first execution in decades

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer at Army Times
Posted : Friday Nov 21, 2008 12:52:10 EST

The first military execution since 1961 is scheduled to take place Dec. 10 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., Army officials announced Thursday.

Pvt. Ronald A. Gray was convicted of multiple murders and rapes in the late 1980s in the Fayetteville, N.C., area. At the time, Gray was a specialist with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The court-martial panel that convicted Gray sentenced him to death in 1988. On July 28, 2008, President Bush approved the order to execute Gray, the longest-serving inmate on the military’s death row. It was the first time a president had approved a military death sentence since 1957, and the decision came after the nation’s highest courts upheld Gray’s conviction and death sentence, and two petitions to the Supreme Court during the appellate process had been denied.

The last military execution took place when John A. Bennett was hanged April 13, 1961, for the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl.

However, Gray may seek a stay in federal district court, said Dwight Sullivan, a civilian appellate counsel for the Air Force and a Marine Reserve colonel who is a military death penalty expert.

He also could file a petition that could move all the way up to the Supreme Court, Sullivan said.

If he doesn’t file a petition, Gray, who is housed in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will be executed by lethal injection.

No comments:

Blog Archive