U.S. army private Dwight J. Loving awaits death in the basement of the U.S. Army disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. As the closest of any military death row inmate to execution, he would be the first soldier executed since the Kennedy Administration.

All of his direct appeals have been exhausted, and he has twice failed to persuade the Supreme Court to revisit his 1989 death sentence, which was handed up for the murders of two cab drivers in Killeen, Texas. But rather than filing a habeas corpus petition, as would a civilian at the end of his appellate rope, Pvt. Loving now finds himself in a remote corner of death penalty jurisprudence reserved only for the military’s condemned.

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