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Army Says It Will Seek Death Penalty in Ft. Hood Case

Army Says It Will Seek Death Penalty in Ft. Hood Case

US President Barack Obama places a presidential coin as he and his wife Michelle view the Fallen Soldier Memorial at Fort Hood on November 10, 2009 during a ceremony honoring the 13 people killed in a shooting rampage at the army base on November 5. US Ar

Associated Press

April 29, 2010

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Military prosecutors sent a notice Wednesday indicating they plan to seek the death penalty against the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a defense attorney said.

Maj. Nadal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 shooting. Premeditated murder carries the death penalty. But if military jurors convict Hasan, they can only sentence him to death if they determine there is an aggravating factor in the case, according to military law.

Defense attorney John Galligan said the notice he received from prosecutors outlines as an aggravating factor that more than one person was killed in the same incident.

“They’ve done everything except tell me to my face that they plan to seek the death penalty,” Galligan told The Associated Press from his office near Fort Hood, about 130 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Military prosecutors have not publicly said what punishment they plan to seek, and Fort Hood officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

Richard Stevens, an attorney who defends military cases and is not involved in Hasan’s case, said crimes that are ineligible for the death penalty do not require jurors to consider aggravating factors.

“The only reason to send a notice of aggravating factors is if you’re trying to seek the death penalty,” Stevens said.

Military law allows for about a dozen possible aggravating factors, but prosecutors listed only one in the notice to Hasan’s attorney.

Stevens said the notice indicates prosecutors plan to present evidence about aggravating factors at Hasan’s Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a grand jury proceeding. The hearing, after which a military judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to go to trial, could be held as early as July 1.

The commanding general over Hasan’s unit ultimately will determine if prosecutors can seek the death penalty, Stevens said.

Hasan was moved earlier this month to Bell County Jail from a San Antonio military hospital, where he had been since shortly after the rampage that also left him paralyzed. The jail houses military defendants from nearby Fort Hood, which does not have holding facilities.

Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith has said Hasan will be under 24-hour watch and isolated from other inmates in a cell in the infirmary.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    over 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    Shouldn't be a hard case, death penalty.
    R.I.P. the the soldiers who passed away.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    over 4 years ago

    51110 Comments

    Sounds good to me.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    shaun741

    over 4 years ago

    2758 Comments

    I think this appears to be suitable for the ultimate penalty

  • Radio2_max50

    FireDad

    over 4 years ago

    7352 Comments

    I sure hope the Military courts convict him and gives him the ultimate penalty..

    May the soldiers that died on that day Rest in Peace...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Getting what he deserved!

  • Picture_008_max50

    wildsoldier

    over 4 years ago

    1246 Comments

    YAAAAA...glad to hear they are seeking to kill this SOB..

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    43868 Comments

    bump taze

  • Iii_max50

    ill_taze_u_bro

    over 4 years ago

    2844 Comments

    The trial is a formality here, fry his ass.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Sweet, They should take him out.

  • Image_max50

    usa_24

    over 4 years ago

    5022 Comments

    Good. They should take him out by firing squad.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    bump Baxter2

  • Da_photo_max50

    brianwharton

    over 4 years ago

    42 Comments

    RIP My fellow soldiers. They should leathal ejection and then fry him to make sure he's dead.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JaySmithPI

    over 4 years ago

    10 Comments

    R.I.P. with honor brave warriors and strength to those recovering from this tragedy.

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50

    s3sk

    over 4 years ago

    3308 Comments

    fry him.

  • 10news_rectangle1017510_max50

    Euro

    over 4 years ago

    942 Comments

    Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!

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