Death sentence for Fort Hood killer

2:01 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
(FILES)This undated image courtesy of Bell County Sheriff's Office shows Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army officer on trial for killing 13 people at a Texas military base in 2009. (Photo: Bell County Sheriff's office/AFP/Getty Images)
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FORT HOOD, Texas - Prosecutors asked a jury Wednesday to sentence Army Maj. Nidal Hasan to death, saying his murderous 2009 shooting spree at a military base here left tragic and devastating loss for victims and loved ones.

Nadal, a 42-year-old Army psychiatrist, was convicted last week for 13 premeditated murders and injuring 31 others during the Nov. 5, 2009, massacre.

In a powerful closing argument that took just under an hour, lead prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan recounted each emotional and powerful story of 13 victims whose lives were cut short by Hasan.

"There's a price to be paid for the mass murder he perpetrated on 5 November -- for the lives he horrifically changed and for the pain and sorrow he wrought," Mulligan said.

"These murderous attacks left enormous carnage: 13 dead, eight widows. One widower. 12 minor children without a father, 18 parents lost children. 30 soldiers wounded. One civilian police officer. Their loss, each family -- tragic, difficult and different. For some, death was almost instantaneous. So quick, so lethal they never moved from their chair," Mulligan said.

Hasan, a Virginia-born Muslim, has previously said he was a "soldier of Allah,'' deserved martyrdom and that his attack was designed to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.

But in seeking the death penalty, Mulligan dismissed Hasan's intent.

"This is his debt to society. It is not a charitable act. He is not now and never will be a martyr. He is a criminal. He is a cold blooded murderer. On 5 November, he did not leave this earth. He remained to pay a price.He remained to pay a debt. The debt he owes is his life,'' Mulligan said.

Hasan, who acted as his own attorney during trial, declined to address the jury of 13 military officers.

"I have no closing statement,'' he said.

Mulligan said earlier that while Hasan's acts were religiously motivated, jurors shouldn't punish him for being a Muslim.

"History is replete with death in the name of religion. The acts of 5 November were religiously motivated. You should not punish him for his religion,'' Mulligan told jurors. "You should punish him for his hate. You should punish him for the action he took in the name of his religion, not for his religion."

Prosecutors rested witness testimony in the sentencing phase of the case Tuesday, with a string of victims and loved ones of those killed in the shooting massacre tearfully talking about the fallout on their lives.

A death sentence would require a unanimous verdict by the jury of 13 military officers. At minimum, Hasan faces life imprisonment.

A verdict could come within hours.

Contributing: Gary Strauss in McLean, Va.


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