Military May Soon Hold Its 1st Execution in 56 Years

Former soldier Ronald Gray raped and killed multiple women
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2016 3:57 PM CST
Military May Soon Hold Its 1st Execution in 56 Years
Ronald Gray leaves a courtroom escorted by military police at Fort Bragg in 1988.   (Marcus Castro/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File)

The US military could soon execute someone for the first time since a soldier was hanged for raping and trying to kill an 11-year-old girl in 1961, CNN reports. Ronald Gray, a former Army soldier, has been on military death row at Fort Leavenworth since 1988. According to the Fayetteville Observer, Gray was convicted of killing five women—a cab driver, an Army private, a university student, a local resident, and a soldier's wife—and raping several others in 1986 and 1987 while stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A civilian court gave him eight life sentences, but a military court sentenced him to death.

All convicts on military death row must have their executions approved by a president. In 2008, George W. Bush authorized Gray's execution, but a federal court gave him a temporary stay. Last week, a judge ruled the stay was no longer in effect and denied any further stays. An execution date for Gray could be set sometime in the next month. He would be killed by lethal injection. Including Gray, there are currently six former service members on military death row. However, Gray is the only one whose death has been approved by a president. (In Florida, a new ruling means scores of inmates could avoid execution.)

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