Fort Hood Shooter Sentenced to Death

Nidal Malik Hasan faces execution, but appeals process awaits

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 28, 2013 2:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – A military court today sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, giving the Army psychiatrist a path to the martyrdom he appeared to crave in the attack on unarmed fellow soldiers. The same jurors who convicted Hasan last week had just two options: either agree unanimously that Hasan should die or watch the 42-year-old get an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole. Hasan could become the first American soldier executed in more than half a century. But because the military justice system requires a lengthy appeals process, years or even decades could pass before he is put to death.

The American-born Muslim, who has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, never denied being the gunman. "He is a criminal. He is a cold-blooded murderer," prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan said today in his final plea for a death sentence. "This is not his gift to God. This is his debt to society. This is the cost of his murderous rampage." Hasan opted to make no statement to the jury on his own behalf.

In this Aug. 23 courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is shown as the guilty verdict is read.
In this Aug. 23 courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is shown as the guilty verdict is read.   (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley, File)
This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan.
This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan.   (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department, File)
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