Jury Sentences Airman to Death

A military jury unanimously voted for a death sentence for U.S. Airman Andrew Witt in Georgia on October 13, 2005 following his conviction in the murders of another military officer and his spouse.  The murders took place at Robins Air Force Base and stemmed from an interpersonal dispute.  The verdict and sentence now go before Maj. Gen. Michael Collings, commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins. Collings has the authority to uphold or modify the verdict and sentence.

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Soldier Sentenced to Death for Iraq War Murder

A 15-member military jury sentenced Sgt. Hasan Akbar to death for killing 2 U.S. military officers in Kuwait in 2003 during the opening days of the Iraq invasion.  At his sentencing, Akbar said, "I want to apologize for the attack that occurred.  I felt that my life was in jeopardy, and I had no other options.  I also want to ask you for forgiveness."  He is the first American since the Vietnam era to be prosecuted for murdering a fellow soldier in wartime.  (N.Y. Times, April 29, 2005 (AP)).

No one has been executed under the military's death penalty since 1961.  There are 7 other soldiers facing possible execution, including two who have had their death sentences reversed on appeal.  Seven of the eight (87%) soldiers now on death row are members of racial minorities. 

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