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First US Military Execution Since 1961 Scheduled for December

UPDATE: The United States District Court for the District of Kansas entered a stay of execution in Private Ron Gray's case on November 26. The U.S. military had scheduled its first execution since 1961 for December 10. Two decades ago, Pvt. Ronald Gray was convicted and sentenced to death by a general court-martial panel at Fort Bragg for murder and rape committed in the Fayetteville area of North Carolina. Earlier, a North Carolina civilian court had convicted him of the same crimes, but that court sentenced him to a series of life terms, rather than death.

Two decades ago, Pvt. Ronald Gray was convicted and sentenced to death by a general court-martial panel at Fort Bragg for murder and rape committed in the Fayetteville area of North Carolina. Earlier, a North Carolina civilian court had convicted him of the same crimes, but that court sentenced him to a series of life terms, rather than death.

In July, President George W. Bush approved the Army’s request to execute Gray. He has been on the military’s death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, since 1988, and is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection by soldiers at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, which has been the site of executions under the federal death penalty. While the Army has scheduled the execution, there are still important legal issues in the case that have not been fully reviewed.


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Is The Bush Administration Right to Seek the Death Penalty for 9/11 Captives?

By MICHAEL C. DORF
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
FindLaw's Writ

Earlier this week, the Bush Administration announced plans to seek the death penalty for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and five other persons who allegedly played a role in the 9/11 attacks. The Administration plans to try the six defendants before military commissions, as authorized by the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006. But that plan raises a host of difficult legal questions.

Will the defendants or at least their lawyers have access to all of the evidence against them, and if not, what measures will be used to ensure the reliability of that evidence? Will the government seek to introduce statements made by Mohammed as a result of the waterboarding to which the Administration acknowledges he was subjected, or would that be deemed a violation of Section 948r(b) of the MCA, which forbids military commissions from admitting any "statement obtained by use of torture"?

Would other evidence derived from such statements be admissible? And so on.


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