News / USA

    Fort Hood Shooting Case Goes to Jury

    Judge Col. Tara Osborn, top, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, right, and defense attorney, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, left, Aug. 21, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
    Judge Col. Tara Osborn, top, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, right, and defense attorney, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, left, Aug. 21, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
    The jury is now deliberating in the trial of U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, accused of murdering 13 people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009.  The judge turned the case over to the panel, as it is called in military courts, after the prosecution completed its closing statement.  The defendant, who is representing himself, declined to speak.

    Isolated in a room in a heavily guarded building at Fort Hood, the panel members are now going over the evidence against Nidal Hasan.  There is no evidence to contradict the prosecution case because Hasan, representing himself, offered none in his defense and openly admitted that he had done the shooting.

    In order to show premeditation, which is necessary for conviction on the capital murder charge, the prosecution provided evidence that Hasan had purchased the murder weapon and practiced with it well in advance of the attack.  They also showed he had been motivated by radical Muslims who preach violent jihad against anyone they consider an enemy of Islam.  The presiding judge, Colonel Tara Osborn, imposed some restrictions, but did allow evidence of Hasan's recent exposure to radical Islam through Internet searches.

    The compiled evidence showed that this was a well-planned, jihad-motivated attack, according to Jeffrey Addicott, a military law expert at the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in San Antonio

    "The government did say in their closing argument today that he was motivated by jihad to engage in these murders.  There is overwhelming evidence to back up that contention," said Addicott.

    A few days ago, the prosecution and Hasan agreed on a definition of jihad that could be given to the jury.  It includes the idea of fighting violently against non-believers and a guarantee that anyone killed while carrying out jihad will have a place in paradise.

    In order to convict Hasan of the capital murder charge, which carries the death penalty, the jury must make a unanimous decision.  A three-fourths agreement is sufficient for other charges.

    Jeffrey Addicott says that if the panel convicts Hasan of the capital charge, it will then move on to the trial's punishment phase.

    "What happens next is that the defense gets to put forth evidence of extenuation and mitigation; the prosecution gets to put on evidence that he deserves the death penalty," he said. "So that will be a couple of days process.  That will take a couple of days process.  Now, this case is unique because I believe Hasan will not put on any evidence that he should not die.  In fact, quite the contrary, he will tell the jury, 'I want to die.'"

    The panel must also make a unanimous decision to impose the death penalty.  The votes are marked on paper ballots and  kept secret.

    The panel hearing the Hasan case consists of 12 officers, plus one officer who serves as a backup member.  There are nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels and one major.  The panelists came to Fort Hood from other bases around the country so they would not have any direct connection to the people wounded or killed in the shooting.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora