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U.S. Military Death Penalty: Facts and Figures

The death penalty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice was reinstated in 1984.  The military death row is located at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There are currently seven death row inmates awaiting execution, five of whom are African-Americans and two of whom are white. Unlike state executions, members of the military cannot be executed unless the President personally confirms the death sentence. The President also has the power to commute a death sentence that has been imposed on a member of the military. A person in the military service may receive the death penalty for 15 offenses (10 USC Sections 886-934), many of which must occur during a time of war. All current military death row inmates were convicted of premeditated murder or felony murder.  Since 1916, 135 soldiers have been executed by the United States military, but none in almost 50 years. The last military execution occurred on April 13, 1961. U.S. Army Private John A. Bennett was hanged after being convicted of rape and attempted murder.


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