Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death by a military jury. The same jury found Hasan guilty last week of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. Hasan also wounded more than 30 others in the attack.
We’ll add more details as news emerges.
Update at 3:40 p.m. ET: Tossed From Army; Appeals Automatic
The 13-member jury who convicted Hasan and sentenced him to die also stripped him of his military pay and dismissed him from the Army, NBC News reports. The site adds that the appeals process begins automatically in death-penalty cases.
This morning, lead prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan told the jury not to view Hasan’s attack as part of a religious cause.
“He’ll never be a martyr,” Mulligan said, according to the AP. “This is not his gift to God. This is his debt to society. This is the cost of his murderous rampage.”
Our original post continues:
Hasan, 42, acted as his own defense attorney in the court-martial trial, which has presented complicated legal issues to the military court. As Eyder reported earlier this summer, Hasan was rumored to be contemplating pleading guilty to all charges — but military law forbids guilty pleas in cases that involve the death penalty.
After military prosecutors rested their case last Tuesday, Hasan rested his case a day later, without calling any witnesses or engaging in any substantial questioning of witnesses. Previously, he has said that he “switched sides” and turned against the U.S. because of its military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I would like to agree with the prosecution that it wasn’t done under the heat of sudden passion,” Hasan told the judge in the case, as the AP reported. “There was adequate provocation — that these were deploying soldiers that were going to engage in an illegal war.”
During the penalty phase of the trial this week, Hasan, a Muslim who was born in the United States, again rested his case shortly after the prosecution had completed its presentation.
Hasan will now travel to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The U.S. military performed its last execution of an active-duty soldier in the early 1960s.