The Associated Press is reporting that SGT Paul E. Cortez and PFC Jesse V. Spielman of the 101st Airborne Division will be tried capitally for the alleged rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the murder of her family in Mahmoudiya, Iraq.
Several capital courts-martial will likely occur in 2007. Since the current military death penalty system went into effect in 1984, the most capital courts-martial in any one calendar year occurred in 1987, when nine servicemembers were tried in death-eligible courts-martial. Two of those cases — Curtis and Murphy — actually resulted in death sentences. Both of those death sentences were set aside on appeal, though Murphy still faces the possibility of being retried.