12 February 2006

First Military Executions Since 1961 Planned

The military has asked President Bush to authorize execution of two of the seven prisoners on death row at Fort Leavenworth’s U.S. Disciplinary Barracks.
The request to execute Ronald A. Gray and Dwight J. Loving is the first from the Army since President John F. Kennedy was in office.

Gray has been on the military prison’s death row since April 1988 for convictions for rape, sodomy and multiple murders while stationed with the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C. Loving arrived the next year after being convicted of killing two taxicab drivers while he was an Army private at Fort Hood, Texas. . . . The last [military execution] was John Bennett, an Army private hanged in 1961 for raping and attempting to kill an 11-year-old Austrian girl.

From the Army Times.

It is particularly notable that despite the reduced number of appeals available in the federal system (in contrast with state death penalty cases where both federal and state level appears are possible), these cases have gone on for 17 and 18 years respectively.

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