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Jury Selection Begins in Ft. Hood Murder Trial

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Jury selection has begun in the long-awaited military trial of a U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in 2009 at an army base in Texas.

Major Nidal Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted of carrying out the mass shooting at Fort Hood -- the worst such attack at a U.S. military base in history.

Hasan, a 42-year-old American-born Muslim, has said he opened fire at the base in November 2009 to protect Muslims and the Taliban from what he called U.S. aggression. He faces 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder.

The defendant -- paralyzed from the abdomen down after being shot by police during the attack -- is serving as his own attorney. Jury selection is expected to take several weeks, and testimony is set to begin in August.



The trial judge has ruled that Hasan can get help from his former defense attorneys and will have a jury consultant on hand. Under military rules, potential jurors must be of Hasan's rank or higher.

Many commentators and families of the victims have complained about legal delays in the runup to the trial.

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