Nidal Hasan Sentenced to Death for Fort Hood Shootings
A jury of 13 military officers sentenced Major Nidal Hasan to death for the killing of 13 people at the Fort Hood Army base in November 2009.
The unanimous sentence followed Hasan's conviction last week of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. Hasan never denied being the shooter, and some have even suggested he aided the prosecution's case by not cross-examining witnesses or calling any on his own behalf.
Hasan has described himself as a "mujahedeen," or Muslim holy warrior, and he may view his death as a way to achieve martyrdom. The lead prosecutor on the case, Colonel Mike Mulligan, told the jury to ignore such religious reasoning as they considered whether to give Hasan the death penalty:
He’ll never be a martyr. This is not his gift to God. This is his debt to society. This is the cost of his murderous rampage. ... It was conscious decision to commit murder to serve his own needs, his own wants. His attack by him was all about him. This is about his soul, for his soul he stole life from 13 others.
After Mulligan finished his closing argument, Hasan declined to make any statement of his own.
Military executions are highly unusual; the last was in 1961. Only five people are currently on the military's death row.