The United States Military Courts Martial trial of Major Nidal Hasan has ended today with a sentence of death, one of only two options open to jurors.
From the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
FORT HOOD, Texas — A military jury sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death on Wednesday for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, giving the Army psychiatrist what he believed would be a path to martyrdom in the attack on unarmed fellow soldiers.Prosecutors say this will not make a martyr of the former Army doctor and correspondent of Anwar al Au-laqi, who coldly planned (over the jump)
The American-born Muslim, who has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, never denied being the gunman. In opening statements, he acknowledged to the jury that he pulled the trigger in a crowded waiting room where troops were getting final medical checkups before deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The same jurors who convicted Hasan last week had just two options: either agree unanimously that Hasan should die or watch the 42-year-old get an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/...
the attack in an effort to protect, he said, Taliban leaders from US troops. Prior to the shooting rampage he conducted in a clinic full of unarmed US GIs, his superiors had questions and concerns about Hasan's fitness; indeed, he had been at Fort Hood only a few months before the murders.
From 2003 to 2009, Hasan was stationed at Walter Reed Medical Center for his internship and residency; he also had a two-year fellowship at USUHS completed in 2009. According to National Public Radio (NPR), officials at Walter Reed Medical Center repeatedly expressed concern about Hasan's behavior during the entire six years he was there; Hasan's supervisors gave him poor evaluations and warned him that he was doing substandard work.In early 2008 (and on later occasions), several key officials met to discuss what to do about Hasan. Attendees of these meetings reportedly included the Walter Reed chief of psychiatry, the chairman of the USUHS Psychiatry Department, two assistant chairs of the USUHS Psychiatry Department (one of whom was the director of Hasan's psychiatry fellowship), another psychiatrist, and the director of the Walter Reed psychiatric residency program. According to NPR, fellow students and faculty were "deeply troubled" by Hasan's behavior, which they described as "disconnected", "aloof", "paranoid", "belligerent" and "schizoid".It is difficult for me to find any empathy toward this man. It is impossible for me to argue that he should not pay for the lives he took so callously with the forfeit of his own.
Once, while presenting what was supposed to be a medical lecture to other psychiatrists, Hasan talked about Islam, and said that, according to the Koran, non-believers would be sent to hell, decapitated, set on fire, and have burning oil poured down their throats. A Muslim psychiatrist in the audience raised his hand, and challenged Hasan's claims. According to the Associated Press, Hasan's lecture also "justified suicide bombings." In the summer of 2009, after completion of his programs, he was transferred to Fort Hood.
Whatever else happens, I hope he is never revered as a martyr.
The automatic appeals process begins now. There has not been a single execution of a US military prisoner since 1961, although there are other prisoners awaiting execution.