Army Pursuing Hell Cocktail for Hasan

Talk about the wheels of justice turning slowly, it has finally been determined that Maj. Hasan, the Ft. Hood Shooter, will face a military court martial with the prosecution pursuing the death penalty:

The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood rampage in Texas will be court-martialed and face the death penalty, Fox News confirms.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 shooting spree at the Texas Army post.

It was not immediately clear when Hasan will be arraigned in a Fort Hood courtroom. He must plead not guilty based on the nature of the case, according to military law.

Hasan’s lead attorney, John Galligan, had urged the commanding general not to seek the death penalty, saying such cases were more costly, time-consuming and restrictive. In cases where death is not a punishment option for military jurors, soldiers convicted of capital murder are automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without parole

I’m not surprised that lead council is not too keen on having his client put to death, nor is it surprising that the powers that be went this route given the nature and magnitude of the crime. Although I think it is all going to be futile and a waste of time since it is clear that the defense will introduce some diminished capacity evidence in an attempt to spare his life.

I was also a bit surprised that I have no visceral feelings on this one way or the other. My feelings on the death penalty is pretty much the same as abortion rights, I’m an apathetic proponent of each with no real zeal or militancy. On the one hand I can’t think of a more deserving guy to be sent straight to hell for his actions, but I’m not convinced that the Army will pull the trigger, either of Hasan or KSM. Those delicate sensibilities that can’t deal with anything Islam related correctly, the massive Army cover up of the apparent warning signs and neglect in revealing the danger that was brewing in this guy, the almost allergic reaction the administration had in labeling this clear act of terrorism as such, and the PC hysteria that still inhabits the military in dealing with radical Islamic leanings within the ranks, the cynic in me can’t shake the feeling that this is all theater meant to appease the folks but will never be allowed to run it’s course to fruition.

Whether it is the fear of making a martyr of Hasan or KSM, or just more appeasement to the squeaky wheel of the Islam cry babies, I don’t think the Army or the Administration has the gumption to see it through, I could be wrong.

Since I have much more confidence in a military jury (made up of above average line officers, both in intelligence and education) then your regular civilian jury, I am not worried that the prosecution will over reach and thus jeopardize the whole case, the jury will met out the appropriate punishment on Hasan. But to tell you the truth, I will be perfectly happy with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Some could accuse me on going wobbly on my convictions for the death penalty, I can live with that. Although I still think it is a fair and just sentence for some murderers, and I would never pass up the chance to put a thumb into the eyes of those snotty elitist Eureweenies who bore me with their indignance on the issue and how much more civilized they all are, I admit I have mellowed over the years, and can now continence life sentences over that of the death penalty.

Here is a trade I wonder if other death penalty advocates would take, I am willing to do away with the death penalty in the US for two conditions:
1) Capital crime offenders must do hard time, must work, must live a very spartan existence where each day it is obvious to them that they are being punished.
2) At any time during his life sentence he can determine if his life is too unbearable and not worth living and he can, with the assistance of the state in preparing the lethal injection, take his own life.

Are these two conditions a reasonable alternative to those death penalty advocates here?

Comments are closed.

  1. hist_ed

    Interesting proposition. I am definately pro death penalty, but it should be a bit more limited (mostly more limited in Texas). I also think executions should be televised. If we, as a society, can’t bear to see what we are doing, then we should stop.

    I apply your little formula to most death penalty cases, but still reserve execution for a select few. The threat of execution is a powerful negotiating tool for prosecutors. Gary Ridgeway helped locate most of his victims bodies in exchange for taking execution off the table. Given the number of families who wanted closure, I think this was a good decision.

    I would not, however, put your proposal into the military justice system (I also think “diminished capacity” or insanity defenses should not be a part of military trials). Hassan is more that a murderer, he is a traitor. I’m astounded he hasn’t been tried yet. Let’s get him in the dock and then hang him.

    Finally, for that reason, I would not put him in the same category as KSM or the other jihadi asswipes. They, at least, are not traitors. Hassan used his position of power in the US military to undermine our war effort (that alone should have branded him a traitor) and then went on a shooting spree against his comrades in arms. Just writing that changed my mind on execution though. We need to bring back drawing and quartering for this shithead.

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  2. Kimpost

    I’m one of those snotty Euro-weenies, ;) and have several issues with the death penalty. But the one most compelling to me, is a practical one. I simply can’t picture an infallible justice system, and as I can’t do that, innocent people would eventually have to die.

    One could demand stronger evidence in death penalty cases, I suppose, but that would be a strange judicial principle. After all, we are supposed to try not to convict people wrongfully at all, aren’t we?

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  3. InsipiD

    Gary Ridgeway helped locate most of his victims bodies in exchange for taking execution off the table. Given the number of families who wanted closure, I think this was a good decision.

    Considering the sheer number of people Ridgeway killed, he’s a great example for not worrying too much where the rest of them are and killing him before the sun goes down. He was a total shit who, once arrested, reveled in his publicity and fancied himself a celebrity. He even got kind of prima-donna cocky with the cops during these quests for the bodies. Rather than bribing him with waffles and taking death penalty off the table, they should’ve waterboarded him. As for Hassan, I think that Hist_Ed said what I would’ve said better when it comes to reasons to kill him.

    As for your proposal of voluntary death, I say absolutely not. The seriousness of the crimes and punishments are such that the punishment itself and its timing mustn’t be the choice of the criminal. Placing those choices in the hands of judges and juries is the right way to handle that. Why would you allow a lifer to painlessly kill himself and not give that choice to just any prisoner? When someone is a criminal, they’re subject to the punishment deemed legally appropriate and assigned by the judge and jury. Their life choices are no longer theirs, nor should they be.

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  4. swassociates

    Once we make prison the living hell that it needs to be we can then forgo the death penalty. Until then, the lack of cable TV is considered cruel and unusual punishment.

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  5. richtaylor365 *

    When someone is a criminal, they’re subject to the punishment deemed legally appropriate and assigned by the judge and jury.

    But being “subject’ to it does not mean that it is carried out. You are inferring that the jury decides what to do with him but the system in place now is a joke. Invariably the condemned sits on death row, 10, 20 years, sometimes indefinitely. Justice is not served, the family of the victim gets no closure, and the system spends wads of dough on interminable appeals.

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  6. richtaylor365 *

    I hate to ruin your rep., but you are neither snooty or elitist, at least from what I can tell.

    I simply can’t picture an infallible justice system, and as I can’t do that, innocent people would eventually have to die.

    What you are asking is an impossibility. I had this discussion with Hal a few months ago, you demand perfection and we as fallible human beings can not measure up. The simple truth is that our justice system is infallible, with or with out the death penalty. As long as humans make decisions, there will always by some mistakes. Our Judicial system accounts for this, that is why the procedure is tilted so far towards the defense. The Anthony trial is perfect example of this, an obvious guilty person is going free because the state could not meet it’s burden of proof. I don’t think you trash can capital punishment only because there is a mere possibility that an error will be made. If that is your yardstick then no one should ever be sent to prison.

    My objections to the death penalty are twofold, that because of the appeal process that can drag on for decades, the family of the victims (or society at large that demands justice) never gets closure. They can never move on because the state continually opens up the wound with more appeals. That, and it is too damned costly.

    Foregoing the death penalty in favor of life without the possibility of parole would solve these problems. The families of the victim would be happy with this, the guilty spends the rest of his life in a cage, end of story. And the states do not have to bankrupt themselves playing this stupid appeals game.

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  7. Kimpost

    I’m not demanding perfection, I’m merely recognizing that the system is not perfect. Humans will occasionally convict innocent people.

    If wrongful convictions has lead to imprisonment, then new evidence could set people free. If they were executed however, they obviously remain dead.

    Life without parole is much better, and should provide closure for most.

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  8. hist_ed

    I read an interview with the parents of one of his vitctims. They pretty much knew that their daughter was dead, but had that maybe there is a 1% chance so we just have to know thing. They got to find out for sure because ridgeway cooperated. If we went all out for death, they might never have found out what happened to their daughter. Multiply that by 30 or so. Don’t get me wrong, if the state of Washginton came asking ,I’d happily be the guy to pull the trigger on Ridgeway, but letting dozens of familes know for sure what happened to their sisters, daughters, neices, etc., that was worth the life sentences to me.

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