Army sets execution date for Gray
November 22, 2008
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army has scheduled the execution of Army Pvt. Ronald A. Gray for Dec. 10, the first of a servicemember since 1961.
Gray will be put to death at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., an Army news release said.
Gray was convicted in civilian and military courts on charges stemming from four murders and eight rapes that occurred around Fayetteville, N.C., between April 1986 and January 1987.
A court-martial sentenced Gray to death in 1988 after he was convicted of raping and killing Army Pvt. Laura Lee Vickery; raping and killing Kimberly Ann Ruggles, a civilian cab driver; and raping, robbing and attempting to kill a female Army private.
President Bush approved Gray’s execution on July 28. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, only the president, as commander in chief, can approve a death sentence.
“The President took action following completion of a full appellate process which upheld the conviction and sentence to death,” the Army news release said. “Two petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court were denied during the appellate processing of Pvt. Gray’s case.”
The last servicemember to be executed was Army Pvt. John Bennett, who was hanged after being convicted of raping and attempting to murder an Austrian girl. Military authorities carried out 160 executions between 1930 and 1961.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.