Today, President Bush approved the death penalty for Pvt. Ronald Gray, convicted of multiple homicides and rape in the late 1980’s. Military detah penalties are fairly rare, even in times of war. The Universal Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), allows greater latitude for giving out the death penalty, but it usually takes extreme situations for it to come into play.
Ronald Gray was convicted of 2 murders, and 5 rapes in North Carolina State court. He then faced a Military Courts-Martial for his actions against three other women, including two service women. He was convicted on all counts, and the panel unanimously reccomended the death penalty.
The appeals process works differently for military court-martials. His sentence must be approved by his command (the 82nd Airborne in this case), the Army Military Court of Review, the Secretary of the Army, then finally the President. The Secretary of the Army must submit to the President a request for approval. The Supreme Court may intervene, but declined in this case. Today, the President, after consultation with the Attorney General (not a requirement), approved the death senetence.
Full story here: