ronald-gray-000Gray, 47, has been on death row since 1998 when a court martial convicted him of murdering two women and raping three in December of 1986 and January of 1987 in North Carolina.  Gray was charged with abducting, raping, and murdering Private Laura Lee Vickery-Clay, 18 and attempting to rape and murder Private Mary Ann Lang Nameth, 20.  He was also charged with the rape and murder of Kimberly Ann Ruggles, 23.  In July 2008, President George W. Bush signed the death warrant of Gray, a former Army specialist at Fort Bragg, NC.  A federal judge stayed the execution.


loving_000Dwight J. Loving was an Army private serving at Fort Hood when he was convicted in 1989 of robbing and murdering two cab drivers, one a retired NCO (Army Sergeant Bobby Sharbino) and the other a soldier (Private Christopher Fay) moonlighting as a driver.  On December 11, 1988, Loving robbed the two drivers, shot them both in the back of the head, and ran away with $100.  After meeting up with his girlfriend, he attempted to rob a third driver, but he defended himself successfully.  Loving confessed to the crimes.  Currently, his case is being petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court according to Cornell’s Death Penalty Project.  If that is unsuccessful, he will pursue a habeas corpus petition.


_41090269_akbar-ap-203x300Hasan Akbar, 42, was accused of throwing a grenade into the tent of sleeping soldiers from his own brigade.  The former Army sergeant was convicted of murdering two soldiers (Army Captain Christopher Seifert and Air Force Major Gregory Stone) and attempting to murder 16 others, by a court-martial in 2005.  Prosecutors said that he carried out the attack on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 in order to achieve “maximum carnage” and to prevent soldiers from killing Muslims in Iraq.  The attack took place on March 23, 2003, at the 101st Airborne Division’s Kuwaiti Camp Pennsylvania.  He was the first American soldier accused of killing fellow soldiers since the Vietnam War.  The commander of the 18th Airborne Corps affirmed his sentence after review.  His appeal before the Army Court is still pending.


airman-wittFormer Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Witt, stationed at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, was convicted of killing Sr. Airman Andy Schliepsiek and his wife by stabbing them repeatedly at their home.  Witt, 31, was sentenced to death in October of 2005.  He was also convicted of the attempted murder of their friend, Staff Sergeant Jason King, who survived the attack.  During his court martial sentencing, he admitted to the murders and apologized:

“I’m so, so sorry, from the bottom of my being for taking your son and daughter. To Mr. King, I’m so sorry I hurt you.”

His death sentence has been overturned due to ineffective assistance of counsel, but the military is still deciding whether to appeal.


1179429421_henniscourt-400x300Master Sergeant Hennis was convicted in a 1986 state court of murdering three people in North Carolina.  His convicted was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct.  He was retried and the jury acquitted him in 1989.  The evidence from the crimes was preserved and tested for DNA.  The results did not exclude Hennis.  Since military courts have a separate jurisdiction from state courts, double jeopardy protection does not apply.  Even though Hennis was acquitted, he was tried in military court under military laws for the same crimes.  Hennis, who was by then out of the military’s jurisdiction, was called to active duty to put him back under military control.  He was then tried a third time for the murder of a woman and two children.  The military jury convicted Hennis on April 8, 2010 and sentenced him to death.


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