Fort Hood shooter found guilty on all counts, qualifies for death penalty
This photo released by the Bell County Sheriffs Department, shows US Major Nidal Hasan (AFP Photo)
A United States military court has convicted Army Major Nidal Hasan of all charges, including 13 counts of murder, for his role in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas rampage that left dozens either dead or wounded.
Maj. Hasan, 42, was found guilty by a military jury on Friday for the 13 murders he committed during an outburst almost four years ago. Additionally, a panel of the Army psychiatrist’s peers also elected to convict him on each of the 32 counts of attempted murder he was up against as well.
Now pending the outcome of the court-martial’s penalty phase, Hasan could be sentenced to die for his role in the massacre. That portion of the legal proceedings is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Jurors in the Hasan court-martial began deliberating Thursday afternoon after 12-days of proceedings in which the defendant served as his own attorney.
When the proceedings began earlier this month, Hasan told the court, “the evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter.”
“Evidence will show I was on the wrong side of America’s war and I later switched sides,” he said in opening statements.
“We in the mujahedeen are imperfect beings trying to establish a perfect religion,” Hasan added. “I apologize for any mistakes I have made in this endeavor.”
Hasan rested his case without calling any witnesses, testifying in his own defense or making closing arguments. The prosecution elicited testimony for nearly 90 people during their turn to call witnesses.
"There is no doubt, as I said in the beginning, the accused is the shooter," prosecutor Col. Steven Henricks told the jury before they were asked to deliberate. “The only question for you is ... is this a premeditated design to kill?"
"He did not want to deploy, and he came to believe he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible," Henricks said.
On his part, Hasan claimed he was justified, citing “adequate provocation" for the attack because those killed would be participating in the United States’ " illegal war" in Afghanistan. Hasan acknowledged that it wasn’t done in “the heat of sudden passion.”
Hasan was injured by authorities during the shoot-out and has been forced to be confined to a wheelchair ever since. Hasan has suggested that he wants to receive the death penalty for his actions, and according to the New York Times said, "I'm paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life. However, if I died by lethal injection, I would still be a martyr."