U.S. Military

U.S. Military



Year of Reenactment
(since 1972 suspension)
Year of First Execution
(since reenactment)

18xx-1984: hanging

1984-present: lethal injection

Current Method
Lethal injection


The U.S. Military has a sentence of life without parole.

There have been no executions since April 13, 1961, when U.S. Army Private John A. Bennett was hanged.

In 1983, the Armed Forces Court of Appeals held in U.S. v. Matthews, that military capital sentencing procedures were unconstitutional for failing to require a finding of individualized aggravating circumstances. In 1984, the death penalty was reinstated when President Ronald Reagan signed an executive order adopting detailed rules for capital courts-martial. Among the rules was a list of 11 aggravating factors that qualify defendants for death sentences.

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