Nidal Hasan Wants The Death Penalty, Says Lawyer

Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan is deliberately looking for the death penalty, said one of his stand-by attorneys.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of carrying out the mass shootings at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009. He faces 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder, and is choosing to defend himself. His appointed lawyers see this as a deliberate course toward conviction and the death penalty.

It’s “clear his goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty,” said Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, Hasan’s court-appointed stand-by attorney.

“I object. That’s a twist of the facts,” Hasan responded.

Regardless, Col. Tara Osborn, the judge in the case, cleared the courtroom and suspended the trial after only one day in light of the accusation.

All of the “allegedlys” surrounding the case were quickly dried up on Wednesday, as well. Hasan opened his court martial by admitting that he is the Fort Hood shooter.

“The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter,” he said.

He also admitted to feeling as though he was on the wrong side of a war against Islam, something that has been long disputed by observers on both sides of the case.


Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim, was paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by an Army police officer after his rampage, and showed little interest in his own defense on the first day of his trial. He originally wanted to plead guilty, but military regulations prevented him from doing so.

During earlier hearings, Hasan was ruled unable to defend himself with an argument that he was attempting to save the lives of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.

The death penalty is rarely granted in military legal proceedings. The last execution on record was carried out in 1961.

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