A military court handed down the death sentence to Ft Hood shooting jihadist Major Nidal Malik Hasan on Wednesday, following his conviction last week.
The Associated Press reports:
The American-born Muslim, who has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, never denied being the gunman. In opening statements, he acknowledged to the jury that he pulled the trigger in a crowded waiting room where troops were getting final medical checkups before deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The same jurors who convicted Hasan last week had just two options: either agree unanimously that Hasan should die or watch the 42-year-old get an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole.
Hasan could become the first American soldier executed in more than half a century. But because the military justice system requires a lengthy appeals process, years or even decades could pass before he is put to death.
USA Today adds:
In a powerful closing argument that took just under an hour, lead prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan earlier recounted each emotional and powerful story of 13 victims whose lives were cut short by Hasan.
“There’s a price to be paid for the mass murder he perpetrated on 5 November — for the lives he horrifically changed and for the pain and sorrow he wrought,” Mulligan said.
“These murderous attacks left enormous carnage: 13 dead, eight widows. One widower. 12 minor children without a father, 18 parents lost children. 30 soldiers wounded. One civilian police officer. Their loss, each family — tragic, difficult and different. For some, death was almost instantaneous. So quick, so lethal they never moved from their chair,” Mulligan said.
“History is replete with death in the name of religion. The acts of 5 November were religiously motivated. You should not punish him for his religion,” Mulligan told jurors. “You should punish him for his hate. You should punish him for the action he took in the name of his religion, not for his religion.”
While he claims that it is something he wants, and considers it martyrdom, I consider it justice and so do many others.
Col. Mulligan assured jurors that Nidal Hasan would “never be a martyr.”
“This is his debt to society. It is not a charitable act. He is not now and never will be a martyr. He is a criminal. He is a cold-blooded murderer. On 5 November, he did not leave this earth. He remained to pay a price. He remained to pay a debt. The debt he owes is his life, ” Mulligan said.
Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded more than 30 in his shooting spree back on November 5, 2009. He has shown no remorse, and even defiance, attempting to claim that he was defending the Taliban. He also admitted that he was the shooter and that America was at war with Islam.
“My complicity was on behalf of a government that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah to be the supreme law of the land,” Hasan said before being asked if America’s actions in Afghanistan should be understood as a war on Islam. “You bet it is,” he said. “I participated in it.”
One could hope that Nidal Hasan would repent before the death sentence is carried out on him. However, justice will be served in this life with his death.
There is no telling how long it will take for the death sentence to be carried out on Hasan. One would think he would not appeal the conviction and that the sentence would be carried out quickly. However, since Barack Obama has failed to called Hasan’s jihad what it is, namely “terrorism,” one would be wise to keep an eye out for a presidential pardon from Obama before he leaves office.
The last person to be put to death by the US military following a conviction was Army Pvt. John A. Bennett. Bennett was hanged in 1961 for the 1921 rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl.
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