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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid