Hasan granted trial delay

Hasan granted trial delay

FORT HOOD — Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s Article 32 was scheduled to start Thursday morning, but the defense’s request for a delay — its second — was granted.

The hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury, is set to start Oct. 4, said Col. James Pohl, who is the Article 32’s investigating officer.

The Article 32 was scheduled to start March 1, but the defense requested a delay in February, which Pohl granted.

Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 shooting at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center.

Pohl also determined the prosecution and defense would reconvene July 19 if there was a need to rule on any new or outstanding issues.

The defense, led by retired Col. John Galligan, argued Tuesday it needed more time to review materials with which they were only recently provided and work more with a mitigation expert. Galligan also said he and the Army lawyers assigned to defend Hasan, Maj. Christopher Martin and Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, needed more time to work together, as Poppe was a new addition to the team. Tuesday was his second time meeting with Hasan, Galligan said.

“He’s new,” Galligan later said of Poppe. “Very, very new and yet we have to function as a team.”

Both the prosecution and defense also are waiting for findings from several high-level investigations into the Nov. 5 event and what led to it, including whether Hasan’s superiors at his previous assignment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center failed to see potential problems.

Lawyers on both sides are awaiting a FBI ballistics report, said Col. Mike Mulligan, lead prosecutor in United States vs. Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Galligan later talked about whether the case was on track for capital referral and the death penalty for Hasan, something he insisted was happening last month during interviews with other media outlets.

Fort Hood officials later released a statement that read, “Recent articles and headlines stating that the Army has made a decision to pursue the death penalty against Maj. Nidal Hasan are inaccurate and misleading.”

Fort Hood officials stressed that no decisions have been made about whether to pursue the death penalty in the case, according to the statement, though Galligan told The Associated Press that military prosecutors have “done everything except tell me to my face that they plan to seek the death penalty.”

The military doesn’t try a lot of capital cases, Galligan, who is a former Army judge, said Tuesday morning. When it does, the reversal rate is significantly high, he added.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at **astair@kdhnews.com** or (254) 501-7547. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Shooting suspect says few words at hearing

FORT HOOD — Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan entered the back of the courtroom at 8:28 Tuesday morning at Fort Hood’s judicial center, wheeling himself past fewer than a dozen reporters, a sketch artist and a handful of soldiers in Army Combat Uniforms.

Two, low swinging doors were held open for him as he guided his wheelchair through and was positioned at the end of a long wood table. Maj. Christopher Martin, John Galligan and Lt. Col. Kris Poppe — Hasan’s defense team — filled the spaces next to him. Across the aisle stood the prosecution, led by Col. Mike Mulligan.

Mulligan led the prosecution of Sgt. Hasan Akbar in 2005. Akbar was convicted in the 2003 grenade attacks at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, and sentenced to death. That conviction is on appeal, according to information from the Army.

Col. James Pohl was appointed to preside over Hasan’s Article 32 hearing.

If Pohl’s name sounds familiar it’s because this isn’t his first high-profile Army case. Or his second. Or his third. His name is associated with cases that surround the USS Cole bombing, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

Before Pohl called the proceedings to order, Hasan spoke closely with Galligan, a retired colonel and former Army judge.

Soldiers in the courtroom were quietly asked to adjust the courtroom’s thermostat and before long, the room went from a brisk 68 degrees to a slightly uncomfortable 73.

Hasan talked little with his lawyers once business began. Martin leaned over occasionally and spoke briefly.

Hasan never spoke aloud unless to answer Pohl several times with a “Yes, sir.” He faced the judge and rarely looked anywhere but in front of him and up at the judge. The most Hasan spoke aloud was while answering a question for Pohl.

“I have no questions,” Hasan said almost half an hour after he entered the courtroom.

“I understand, sir,” he said at 9 a.m. when asked by Pohl whether he understood that his defense team’s request for another delay in the Article 32 would impede on his right to a speedy trial.

Seven minutes into the proceedings, Martin stood up and unfolded a large green blanket. He draped it around his client and Hasan clutched it around him until Pohl granted the defense’s request for a four-month delay at 9:42 a.m.

Hasan was wheeled through a set of doors behind the judge’s stand as his lawyer turned to speak with reporters. A handful of uniformed civilians stepped in front of the room into which Hasan disappeared.

Galligan told the reporters gathered around him that Hasan was transported to Fort Hood from the Bell County Jail, where he is held during pre-trial confinement, in leg shackles. Hasan is paralyzed from the chest down, Galligan has said often in the media.

“I’m telling you, it’s all show,” Galligan said while standing in the courtroom Tuesday.

He compared the security in the judicial center to D-Day before joining Hasan in the secured room behind the judge’s stand.

Galligan later talked about Hasan’s medical issues, saying he’s dealt with everything from bedsores to blood in his urine and fecal matter. Hasan is prone to chills and his core body temperature is a constant concern, Galligan said.

“He’s not a flight risk,” the defense attorney said when questioned about Hasan’s leg shackles and medical condition, adding that he still has difficulty dragging himself from his wheelchair to his bed.

Providing Hasan with adequate restroom facilities and breaks during court proceedings is a concern, Galligan said. He went on to criticize Hasan’s pre-trial confinement, saying his client needed a nurse, not a guard, by his side. When questioned, Galligan said Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center would be a better facility to house Hasan.

The death penalty is too good for this monster.

I don't support the death penalty. But I find it ironic that Hassan--or any ordinary murderer--would more likely have been executed it if tried under state murder charges, than if tried (as he is being) by court martial (or--probably--by federal court). I heard courts martial haven't carried out an execution since the 1970s, and it requires the President to actively sign a death warrant (something I imagine many people wouldn't want to do), rather than passively letting one take place.

If he was tried under federal law, Hassan could also be tried for treason. Though murder of employees of the United States has the higher penalty (life w/o parole or death). Also, lifers convicted by courts martial in the past were more likely to get parole or other forms of early release (most notoriously in the My Lai massacre case).

I hope he gets life without parole and he can sit in his wheelchair and think about what a coward he is.

[quote="Rascalking, post:3, topic:200411"]
The death penalty is too good for this monster.


So we should kill him t send the message that it is wrong to kill?

I hope he gets life without parole and at some point is exposed to and embraces the Catholic Faith

[quote="stanmaxkolbe, post:2, topic:200411"]
When questioned, Galligan said Fort Hood's Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center would be a better facility to house Hasan.


Maybe he would rather try the 'housing' of his victims?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.