Fort Hood shooter seeking death penalty

2013-08-07 19:16
Nidal Hasan, the army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. (Bell County Sheriff's Department/ AP)

Nidal Hasan, the army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. (Bell County Sheriff's Department/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Texas - The US army psychiatrist who has admitted to opening fire on fellow soldiers in the Fort Hood massacre is deliberately seeking the death penalty, his stand-by defence attorney said on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Kris Poppe urged a military judge to either prevent Major Nidal Hasan from representing himself at the high-profile trial or allow the court-appointed lawyers tasked with assisting him to be removed from the case.

"It became clear his goal is to remove impediments and obstacles to the death penalty," Poppe told the court as the second day of Hasan's trial got underway.

"Should he decide he wants to fight the death penalty, then we are here and ready to defend him."

Hasan interrupted Poppe, declaring "this is a twist of the facts" and insisting he was not trying to martyr himself.

Military judge Colonel Tara Osborn cleared the courtroom to discuss the matter privately with Hasan and then called an early end to the day's proceedings.

Hasan has repeatedly attempted to plead guilty to killing 13 people and wounding dozens more in the 2009 attack at a Texas military base.

Military law prohibits Hasan from pleading guilty to a capital offence. So he has been given the opportunity to try to convince the jury that he does not deserve death for his actions.

Now aged 42, Hasan was due to deploy to Afghanistan weeks after the attack. He has said he shot the soldiers to protect his fellow Muslims from an "illegal" war.

"The evidence will clearly show I am the shooter," Hasan declared in his opening statements on Tuesday.

The statement, which lasted just a couple minutes, reiterated his radical views.

"We, the mujahedeen, are imperfect Muslims trying to establish a perfect religion in the land of the supreme God," Hasan said. "I apologise for any mistakes that I made in this endeavour."

The Fort Hood killings prompted calls for stronger safeguards against internal security threats and "homegrown" terror attacks.

Born in the eastern US state of Virginia to Palestinian parents, Hasan joined the Army in 1995.

It was during a residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre from 2003 to 2006 that he first exhibited signs of radical Islamic views, according to an FBI report entitled "A Ticking Time Bomb."

Hasan attended a mosque where radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki - a key figure in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula until his death in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen - worked in 2001.

He exchanged emails with Awlaki in the months leading up to the shooting, in which he questioned the morality of killing soldiers if they intended to attack Muslims. Awlaki later called Hasan a hero.

Read more on:    nidal hasan  |  anwar al-awlaki  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.