That headline looks good, the reality less so. The death penalty in the United States means automatic appeals and infinite appeals. Even if Hasan at some point doesn’t decide that he wants to live at any cost and start helping his lawyers out, the long case won’t be over any time soon.
To their credit, the jurors did their job quickly
The jury deliberated for a little more than two hours.
The system however will drag it out
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 lead prosecutor assured jurors that Hasan would “never be a martyr” despite his attempt to tie the attack to religion.
“He is a criminal. He is a cold-blooded murderer,” Col. Mike Mulligan said Wednesday in his final plea for a rare military death sentence. “This is not his gift to God. This is his debt to society. This is the cost of his murderous rampage.”
When Hasan began shooting, the troops were standing in long lines to receive immunizations and doctors’ clearance. Thirteen people were killed and more than were 30 wounded. All but one of the dead were soldiers, including a pregnant private who curled on the floor and pleaded for her baby’s life.
So decades. Possibly. Hasan is already 43. He could still very well die in prison. Certainly if he really doesn’t want to live, it’s entirely possible that with his level of disability, he might.
Hasan Akbar, another Hasan, and another Muslim terrorist in the military, was sentenced to death in 2005. Here’s how that case has been going.
On November 20, 2006, Lieutenant General John Vines, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, affirmed the death sentence against Akbar. Under an automatic appeal because of the sentence, the case was forwarded to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, which upheld the sentence on July 13, 2012. Afterwards, the case was automatically appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, with a final right of appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Once Akbar’s appeals are exhausted and if his sentence stands, the President of the United States in his role as Commander in Chief would order the execution to take place, which is currently done by lethal injection. Akbar continues to be confined at the United States Disciplinary Barracks awaiting disposition of his sentence.
Good luck getting that order from Obama. It’s misleading to say that Nidal Hasan could be the first soldier executed in some time, because there’s actually a line.
Ronald Gray, a former Army specialist who was sentenced in 1988 after being charged with abducting, raping, sodomizing and murdering an 18-year-old female soldier and a 23-year-old civilian woman, as well as attempting to rape and murder another fellow soldier.
Dwight Loving, a former Army private who, like Hasan, was stationed at Fort Hood when he was sentenced to death in 1989 for the murders of two taxi drivers. He is currently awaiting an appeal despite giving a full confession for the killings on videotape.
How would the country that won WW2 handle this?
On August 8, 1942, Herbert Hans Haupt was sent to the electric chair. Haupt, a United States citizen, had joined a German raiding party into the United States. The trial of Haupt and his fellow conspirators lasted a month. It was over two months after their capture. Haupt was put to death seven days after the conclusion of his trial.
Too bad that country isn’t around.