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NCJ Number: 171087 Find in a Library
Title: Military Executions During WWII: The Case of David Cobb
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1995)  Pages:93-104
Author(s): J R Lilly
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Capital punishment in the military during World War II's European Theater of Operations (ETO) is examined, with emphasis on the ETO's first execution.
Abstract: The data came from a 1945 report from the United States Army entitled "History of the Branch Office of the Judge Advocate General with the United States Forces European Theater, Volume I and II." This report contained data on 108 executions and scheduled executions, including 70 executions during 1942-45 and 38 scheduled executions. Additional information came from the trial transcripts for the 70 executions and from interviews and correspondence with family members, prosecuting and defense attorneys, witnesses, and one member of the burial detail of an executed soldier. The analysis revealed several central features of other ETO executions. These executions included predominantly black male offenders with white victims, speedy trials, weak defense efforts, and an appeal process subject to the illegal influence of commanders. The case of Private David Cobb demonstrates the issues. The study is timely and important for comparative research and the debate on capital punishment, considering the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Loving vs. United States; the Court upheld the constitutionality of the military executions and the disproportionate numbers of minorities on Leavenworth's death row. Notes, 2 case citations, and 64 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Courts martial
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Crime in foreign countries; Criminology; Europe; Military justice; Racial discrimination
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