The History of the American Court-Martial – Part II
The most notorious court-martial in modern times was that of former Lieutenant William Calley, who was found guilty of participating in the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam. Calley was convicted in a 1971 court-martial of killing 22 people during the massacre, which resulted in the loss of many hundreds of lives. Calley was sentenced to life in prison, but President Nixon ordered his sentence reduced; he was eventually released after three years’ house arrest.
The last military execution to result from a court-martial took place in April of 1961, when Army Private John Bennett was hanged for rape and attempted murder. There are currently five men on the military’s death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.