A military jury sentenced Nidal Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and injured 39. The verdict comes as no surprise, especially after lawyers assigned to work with Hasan, who ultimately acted as his own attorney, concluded that the shooter was likely trying to get the death penalty for himself.
In his opening statement before the court, Hasan said that "the evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter." He offered little else in his own defense. The 13-member jury's decision was unanimous. There hasn't been a military execution of an active duty U.S. service member since 1961 — Hasan is now the sixth on death row.
Hasan, a Muslim, claimed that his shooting spree was intended to defend Islamic extremists overseas from U.S. soldiers. Addressing Hasan's apparent desire for martyrdom, the lead prosecutor in the case told jurors that Hasan would "never be a martyr," adding, "this is not his gift to God. This is his debt to society. This is the cost of his murderous rampage." Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Hasan.
Hasan, who was still getting paid as a soldier, loses his rank as a major immediately, and his pay in two weeks. The military automatically awards Hasan appeal. So as that process continues, Hasan will be transferred to Fort Leavenworth.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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