OPEKA, Kansas - A former Army cook convicted of multiple rapes and murders is set to die next month in what would be the U.S. military's first execution in more than 50 years.
The military said Nov. 20 that former Soldier Ronald A. Gray is to be executed Dec. 10 at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Gray was arrested in connection with four slayings and eight rapes in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area between April 1986 and January 1987, while he was stationed at the Fort Bragg military base. He was convicted of murdering two women.
President George W. Bush approved Gray's execution in July, and a month later Army Secretary Pete Geren set the execution date and ordered that Gray be put to death by injection. The date was publicly released Nov. 20.
Gray has appealed his case through military courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case in 2001. Wright said Gray had two legal options remaining: filing a petition with a federal appellate court to stay the execution, or request that the president reconsider approval of the execution.
Army personnel will be responsible for conducting the execution in Indiana based on an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Only 10 members of the military have been executed since 1951, when the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military's modern-day legal system, was enacted.
The last military execution was in 1961. Army Pvt. John Bennett was hanged for raping and attempting to kill an 11-year-old Austrian girl.
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