Yesterday, Army SGT James T. Murphy was resentenced to life with eligibility for parole, a DD, reduction to E-1, and total forfeiture of pay and allowances. The sentence was adjudged under a pretrial agreement providing for a non-capital referral. Because SGT Murphy’s death-eligible offenses (three premeditated murders) were committed before the statute establishing LWOP took effect, the sentence he received was the maximum that could be imposed by a non-captial court-martial.
Murphy is one of eight cases tried under the current post-1983 military death penalty system in which the death sentence was set aside on appeal. In seven of those eight cases, the original death sentence was replaced by confinement for life. The eighth case, Quintanilla, remains pending at the trial level.