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.
Greg Flakus
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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid