News / USA

Fort Hood Shooter Sentenced to Death

U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shown as the guilty verdict is read at his court martial, Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 27, 2013.
U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shown as the guilty verdict is read at his court martial, Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 27, 2013.
Greg Flakus
A military jury has sentenced Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan to death for killing 13 people in the November 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. 

The decision Wednesday for the death penalty came after only a few hours of deliberation following the closing summation by the prosecution. Hasan, who has represented himself throughout the trial, declined to speak.

Since the decision had to be unanimous, it was unclear what the jury would decide, according to Geoffrey Corn, a former military prosecutor who teaches at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. "There was always the possibility that, even though the evidence was compelling, that one member might decide, for whatever reason, they did not want a death penalty in this case," he explained. "Obviously, that did not occur, but it was always a possibility."

In cases where the death penalty has been applied, military law requires an appellate process in which appointed attorneys challenge the outcome.

Geoffrey Corn said Hasan's dismissal of his attorneys and their standby role during the proceedings could be examined in the appellate courts. "The defense lawyers were arguing throughout the trial that they should be given more authority in the case to protect his interests. But the law is clear; they do not have that right, he has that right.  Nonetheless, on appeal, you can bet that the appellate lawyers are going to be asking the courts to revisit that relationship," he said.

Corn said the case contrasts American principles with the convicted killer's mindset.  Corn notes that a policeman shot Hasan to stop his attack, but did not kill him once he was down.  Instead, he and one of the men Hasan had been trying to kill saved his life.  The Army then provided him medical care and a fair trial.

"I think one of the untold stories of this case is the victory of reason over power -- or humanity over depravity.  Our nation was founded on the belief that reason must prevail over power and that is what this process was about and that is what should give us confidence in the outcome," stated Corn.  

Hasan will be transferred to a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he will remain as the appeals go forward.  The mandatory appeal process will likely take around four years, but other appeals could follow.  If Hasan's death sentence is carried out, it would be the first time for the U.S. military since 1961.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: brian from: Durban South Africa
August 29, 2013 2:01 AM
He has been found guilty, he himself admits he is guilty so put him down like any other rabid dog!

by: ali baba from: new york
August 28, 2013 4:27 PM
this is a great verdict to send a clear message that people will not tolerated criminal like him. He has to be rested with 72 virgins

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs