Hasan sentenced to death
POSTED: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 10:45am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 12:17am
Fort Hood, Texas (KETK) — After deliberation, the jury in the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan has sentenced him to death.
Hasan who was charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the November 5, 2009, shooting rampage at Fort Hood, was found guilty by a military jury on Friday, August 23.
Hasan represented himself in the court-martial and admitted to the shooting. He rested his case before the jury without testifying or calling any witnesses.
The backup legal team for Hasan asked to withdraw from active participation in the case Wednesday, August 8th, telling the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, wanted to receive the death penalty.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was paralyzed by a police bullet during the rampage. He listened impassively as one of the first witnesses recounted the horror unleashed that November day at a processing center for soldiers heading to Afghanistan and Iraq.
A U.S.-born citizen of Palestinian descent, Hasan had been scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan before the killings. Prosecutors wanted to show that the devout Muslim had undergone a "progressive radicalization," giving presentations in defense of suicide bombings and about soldiers conflicted between military service and their religion when such conflicts result in crime.
Hasan did not want to deploy to fight against other Muslims and believed "that he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible," said Col. Michael Mulligan, the lead prosecutor in the case.
Investigators found 146 spent shell casings in the room where the attack began, Mulligan said. Hasan carried two laser-sighted pistols and 420 rounds of ammunition, his pockets lined with paper towels to muffle the sounds of the magazines banging together, he said.
Hasan told the panel in his opening statement, "We mujahedeen are trying to establish the perfect religion." But, he added, "I apologize for the mistakes I made in this endeavor."
The mujahedeen consider themselves warriors who defend the Islamic faith.
Hasan told his family he had been taunted after the al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. Investigations that followed the killings found he had been communicating via e-mail with Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American radical cleric killed by a U.S. drone attack in 2011.
With Hasan receiving the death penalty, he will be the first U.S military service executed in 52 years. Army Private John Bennett, was hanged in 1961 at Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas, after being convicted of raping and attempting to kill an 11-year-old Austrian girl.