Maj. Nidal Hasan Sentenced to Death

by Sterling Beard

Army Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing 13 people and wounding over 30 in a 2009 shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas.

The military panel deliberated for nearly three hours before handing down the sentence.

Hasan, who acted as his own lawyer, gave no closing argument and presented no evidence or witnesses during the trial’s penalty phase, continuing a defensive strategy that seemed designed to ensure he received the harshest penalty. In the early portion of the trial, he told the jury that the evidence would clearly show he was the shooter and repeatedly referred to himself as a member of the Mujahadeen. He also refused yesterday to allow his standby counsel to present evidence that could have helped him, such as his good behavior during pre-trial confinement.

During closing arguments, lead prosecutor Michael Mulligan asked the jury to “make [Hasan] accountable,” and told the court that he would be no martyr if given the death penalty.

“Do not be fooled. He is not giving his life, we are taking his life. This is not his gift to god, this is his debt to society,” Mulligan said before calling Hasan “a criminal” and a “cold-blooded murderer.”