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?