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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid