A look at the six
inmates on U.S. military death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,
according to the Death Penalty Information Center. A federal judge in
Kansas lifted a stay of execution for one of the inmates. The U.S.
military carried out its last execution when it hanged Army Pvt. John
Bennett in 1961 for raping and trying to kill an 11-year-old Austrian
girl. The death chamber has since been remodeled for lethal injections.
RONALD A. GRAY
Gray was convicted and ordered condemned in
military court in 1988 for two murders and three rapes in the
Fayetteville, North Carolina, area while he was stationed at Fort Bragg,
where he reached the rank of specialist and was a cook. He pleaded
guilty in civilian courts to two other killings and five rapes and was
sentenced to eight life terms, including three to be served one after
the other. A federal judge in Kansas last week lifted a stay of
execution for Gray.
Loving, formerly of Rochester, New York, was
convicted of killing Killeen, Texas, taxi drivers Bobby Sharbino and
Christopher Fay during separate robberies on Dec. 11, 1988, while Loving
was stationed at Fort Hood. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an
appeal by Loving, a former Army private, upheld the military death
penalty, ruling that President Ronald Reagan in 1994 properly enacted a
key section aimed at helping jurors decide who deserves capital
Akbar was condemned after being convicted of
killing two fellow soldiers — Army Capt. Christopher S. Seifert and Air
Force Maj. Gregory L. Stone — and injuring 14 others in an attack in
Kuwait in 2003, during the early days of the Iraq war. In October, the
U.S. Supreme Court rejected Akbar's appeal, which focused on whether the
way in which the armed forces imposes a death sentence complies with
recent Supreme Court rulings.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was convicted of
killing 13 people and injuring 31 others in the 2009 attack at Fort Hood
in Texas, where Hasan opened fire in a room of unarmed soldiers. During
his 2013 trial, Hasan told jurors he had "switched sides" in what he
called America's war with Islam. He admitted beginning the rampage by
pulling out a pistol and shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is great) and said
he wanted to stop American soldiers from being deployed to kill fellow
Muslims. A Fort Hood police officer helped end the attack in a gunfight
Witt was convicted in 2005 of fatally stabbing a
fellow airman and his wife at their duplex at Robins Air Force Base in
Georgia, as well as wounding a staff sergeant. Prosecutors said Witt
killed Senior Airman Andrew Schliepsiek and his wife, Jamie, after they
threatened to report he had made a pass at Jamie Schliepsiek and had an
affair with an officer's wife. Witt's lawyers did not dispute that he
stabbed the couple but contended that the killings were not planned.
Officials said the killings were the first ever at the 60-year-old Air
Force base in central Georgia.
Hennis, a former Army master sergeant at North
Carolina's Fort Bragg, was convicted during an April 2010 court-martial
trial of killing a North Carolina mother and two of her daughters, ages 5
and 3, in 1985. Hennis was first convicted in state court of the
killings, but that conviction was overturned on appeal and he was
acquitted in a retrial in 1989. Hennis was living in Lakewood,
Washington, when the Army brought him out of retirement for the
court-martial nearly two decades after his acquittal. A four-judge Army
appellate panel last month upheld Hennis' death sentence.