Hasan Akbar – black, age 32
Sentenced to death by U.S. Military
By: A military jury
Date of crime: 3/23/2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: The night before U.S. troops were to invade Iraq, Sgt. Akbar threw grenades into three tents and then fired his M-4 carbine in his military camp in Kuwait. Two officers were killed and 14 other military personnel were injured. Sgt. Akbar, who suffers from mental illness and a sleep disorder, said he was afraid soldiers would harm fellow Muslims. Army Capt. Christopher Seifert, 27, was killed when he was shot in the back and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone, 40, was killed after he endured 83 shrapnel wounds. Akbar’s diary was brought into evidence and revealed that he was hostile toward Caucasians and had long considered murder.
Prosecutor(s): Lt. Col. Michael E. Mulligan
Defense lawyer(s): Maj. David Coombs
Sources: Daily Telegraph (UK) 4/30/2005 (2005 WLNR 6751824); Australian 4/30/2005 (2005 WLNR 6719377); Detroit Free Press (MI) 5/4/2005 (2005 WLNR 6964861); Army 6/1/2005 (2005 WLNR 9346396).
Andrew Witt—white, age 22
Sentenced to death in Military court
By: A jury of military officers
Date of crime: 7/5/04
Prosecution case/defense response: Andrew and Jamie Schliepsiek threatened to tell Witt’s superiors that the had made a pass at Jamie, and had conducted an affair with another officer’s wife. Witt broke into their apartment in the middle of the night and stabbed both Schliepsiek’s to death, and wounded another man, Jason King. At the sentencing Witt expressed his remorse.
Defense counsel: Frank Spinner
Sources: 10/11/05 US Fed News (2005 WLNR 16506887), AP Alert—Illinois 10/11/05, available in Westlaw USNEWS database, St. Paul Pioneer Press 10/14/05 (2005 WLNR 16645303), Macon Telegraph (GA) 10/14/05 (2005 WLNR 16645116)