Acting as defense in his own trial for the Fort Hood shootings in which 32 American soldiers were injured and 13 killed, army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan is trying to claim martyrdom for his part in the killings during the Fort Hood Texas massacre.
On the rampage that day of November 2009, after being shot and paralyzed from the chest down, Hasan was found with 2 laser-sighted pistols, 420 rounds of ammunition with 146 casings already spent, and his pockets lines with paper towels to diffuse sound from the guns banging together.
Hasan is asking that the court to sentence him to death.
In the widely publicized court-martial, Hasan admits he was the shooter in his opening statement to a panel of 13 officers consisting of 9 colonels, 3 lieutenants colonels and 1 major lieutenant wherein two of the panel members are women.
“The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter.” And added, “We mujahedeen are trying to establish the perfect religion. I apologize for the mistakes I made in this endeavor.”
The 42-year old Hasan was born in the U.S and is a devout Muslim. Right before the shooting took place, Hasan was to be deployed to Afghanistan.
In another court statement, Hasan confirms his allegiance to his religion. “The evidence presented with this trial will show one side. The evidence will also show that I was on the wrong side. I then switched sides.” The death penalty is Hasan’s wish, in order to bring greater strength to the Taliban cause. Judge Col. Tara Osborn has barred the defense in bringing up evidence that Hasan acted to protect the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The prosecution stance in the case is to show “progressive radicalization” showing Hasan having a conflict between his religious beliefs and his duty in the military service.
The Defending argument is that Hasan believes he had to kill as many soldiers as possible in defending his religious beliefs. Hasan did not want to go back to Afghanistan and fight against Muslims. Lead prosecutor Col. Michael Mulligan remarked “that he had a jihad duty to kill as many solders as possible.”
The evidence that the prosecution will put forth to the court will show that Hasan was on the wrong side with the Americans, so he switched sides. Acting as his defense in the court-martial trial, Hasan will call himself and two witnesses to the stand to testify that the killings were carried out in the name of religion.
Court Judge Osborn entered in a plea of not guilty for Hasan, as Hasan cannot plead guilty in a capital punishment case as he requested. On Monday, the Judge also blocked prosecutors from using several witnesses to explain Hasan’s mindset at the time of the killing as being a copycat motive referencing Hasan Akbar, who got the death penalty for attacking soldiers in Quatar.
Since Hasan cannot plead guilty in the court of law, the Judge believes he is attempting to help the prosecution get him the death sentence. The Judge feels Hasan’s attempt at martyrdom in being executed is a form of suicide.
Written by Lisa Graziano