President Bush signed off Monday on the execution of Army Pvt. Ronald Gray, who has been on the U.S. military’s death row since 1988 for rape and murder convictions. Gray’s legal team is expected to appeal, and no date is set for his execution.
Pvt. Ronald Gray has been on the military’s death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, since 1988. His execution would be the first for the U.S. military since 1961, but the White House said it expects further appeals before the sentence is carried out.
“While approving a sentence of death for a member of our armed services is a serious and difficult decision for a commander-in-chief, the president believes the facts of this case leave no doubt that the sentence is just and warranted,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Gray was convicted of raping and killing a female Army private and a civilian near his post at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was also convicted of the rape and attempted murder of another fellow soldier in her barracks at Fort Bragg.