Sgt Kreutzer’s offenses (shooting 19 soldiers, one of whom died) were committed in 1995. He was sentenced to death in 1996. In 2004, ACCA set aside all of the findings of guilty to which Kreutzer had pleaded not guilty, including one specification of premeditated murder, and his sentence. United States v. Kreutzer, 59 M.J. 773 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 2004). The Judge Advocate General of the Army certified the case to CAAF, which affirmed in 2005. United States v. Kreutzer, 61 M.J. 293 (C.A.A.F. 2005). Yesterday, according to this report in the Fayetteville Observer, Kreutzer entered guilty pleas, including to premeditated murder, in exchange for a non-capital referral. The prosecution will proceed to try to prove some other offenses for which Kreutzer pleaded guilty to lesser-included offenses. The contested portion of his case, as well as sentencing, will be in a military judge alone proceeding.
Since the military death penalty was reinstated in 1984, there have been 15 known military death sentences. Two were set aside in the initial CA’s action. Eight have been set aside on direct appeal. In three of those cases, retrials or resentencing proceedings are still in their very early stages. In the four military capital cases where the initial sentence was reversed and the case is now complete, the death sentence wasn’t reinstated in any of them (Dock, Curtis, Simoy, Thomas). Assuming that nothing happens before sentencing to interfere with yesterday’s pleas, Kreutzer will become the fifth former military death row inmate to have his death sentence replaced with a non-capital sentence.