News / USA

Victims of Fort Hood Shooter Tell Court of Their Suffering

In this courtroom sketch, Staff Sgt. Patrick Ziggler, who was injured in the Fort Hood shootings, appears on the witness stand in a courtroom sketch during the sentencing phase in the trial for Maj. Nidal Hasan, Aug. 26, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
In this courtroom sketch, Staff Sgt. Patrick Ziggler, who was injured in the Fort Hood shootings, appears on the witness stand in a courtroom sketch during the sentencing phase in the trial for Maj. Nidal Hasan, Aug. 26, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
Greg Flakus
In a courtroom at Fort Hood, Texas Monday, Major Nidal Hasan sat quietly as witness after witness described how their lives were shattered when he went on a murderous shooting rampage there in November 2009. The jury hearing the dramatic testimony has only two choices with regard to Hasan's fate - life in prison or death.

Relatives of the 13 people killed by Nidal Hasan in his methodical killing spree nearly four years ago told the jury Monday about their pain and suffering. Some parents and spouses of the dead said they feel their lives also ended that day.

Three men wounded in the shootings told the jury how their careers and the lives they had hoped to live were taken away by Hasan.

The convicted murderer remained silent as the witnesses spoke.

Geoffrey Corn, a former military prosecutor who now teaches at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, was on hand at Fort Hood for the dramatic testimony.

"One particularly compelling victim was an army sergeant who had been selected to attend officer candidate school and is now paralyzed for the rest of his life on his left side," he said. "He lost 20 percent of his brain and never was able to fulfill that dream because of this guy's depraved decision to kill as many people as he could."

In this courtroom sketch, Maj. Nidal Hasan, center, sits before the judge, U.S. Army Col. Tara Osborn, during the sentencing phase of his trial, Aug. 26, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.In this courtroom sketch, Maj. Nidal Hasan, center, sits before the judge, U.S. Army Col. Tara Osborn, during the sentencing phase of his trial, Aug. 26, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
x
In this courtroom sketch, Maj. Nidal Hasan, center, sits before the judge, U.S. Army Col. Tara Osborn, during the sentencing phase of his trial, Aug. 26, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
In this courtroom sketch, Maj. Nidal Hasan, center, sits before the judge, U.S. Army Col. Tara Osborn, during the sentencing phase of his trial, Aug. 26, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas.
Testimony in this punishment phase of the trial will continue Tuesday and then Hasan, who is representing himself, will have a chance to either call witnesses or make a statement to the jury. During the first phase of the trial, Hasan called no witnesses and rested his case without making any statement.

Corn says Hasan still has one option left.

"He can give what is called an unsworn statement, which means he is not under oath and he does not have to be subjected to cross examination. And he can give it in a narrative form. That is the most likely scenario because then he gets to say whatever he wants."

Corn says the jury, or panel as it is known in military law, will consider the law and the evidence when making its decision.

"The prosecution has clearly and unambiguously established how incredibly aggravated the nature of this crime was, and the law tells us that the maximum penalty under the law is death," he said. "The real question is does he deserve the maximum penalty authorized by law? And I think when they get to that question they are going to answer yes."

Nidal Malik Hasan is pictured in an undated police handout photograph.Nidal Malik Hasan is pictured in an undated police handout photograph.
x
Nidal Malik Hasan is pictured in an undated police handout photograph.
Nidal Malik Hasan is pictured in an undated police handout photograph.
Even if the jury votes for the death penalty, Hasan likely will live in prison for some years to come, as automatic appeals run their course.

There are five inmates on the U.S. military's death row. No military prisoner has been executed since 1961.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid