Army shooting suspect still holding out for marytrdom
FORT HOOD, Texas — The Army psychiatrist on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood told mental health experts shortly after the attack that he “would still be a martyr” if convicted and executed by the government, according to newly released documents.
The remarks by Maj. Nidal Hasan were published on Tuesday by The New York Times, as military lawyers ordered to help Hasan insist that he wants jurors to sentence him to death. Hasan is representing himself during the trial, which continued Tuesday at the Texas military base with FBI agents testifying about a gruesome, bullet-riddled crime scene.
Hasan told a panel of mental health experts that he wished he had been killed in the attack because it would have meant God had chosen him for martyrdom, according to documents given to the newspaper by Hasan's former lead attorney, John Galligan.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim, was left paralyzed from the waist down when Fort Hood police officers ended the rampage by shooting him in the back.
“I'm paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life,” Hasan told the panel, according to the documents. “However, if I died by lethal injection, I would still be a martyr.”
The documents were part of a report that concluded Hasan was fit to stand trial. Galligan, who serves as Hasan's civil attorney after his client dismissed him from the criminal case two years ago, did not return phone messages from The Associated Press. Hasan, 42, has sat mostly silent during the trial, enabling prosecutors to zip through more than 60 witnesses in only four days. Those witnesses — many of them soldiers injured in the attack — described a bloody, chaotic scene and identified Hasan as the shooter.
But the pace slowed Tuesday as prosecutors shifted to forensic evidence, with FBI agents describing what they found at the medical building where the shootings occurred.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mind was ‘falling apart,’ Colorado theater killing suspect says
- Ginsburg flung open doors for women
- Dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded after all
- California man beaten by deputies on video faces charges
- Pataki formally opens White House bid, 8th from GOP
- Former GOP House Speaker Hastert indicted in banking violation
- Baltimore gets bloodier as arrests drop post-riots
- Growth potential remains for online gambling
- FCC wants to extend $1.7B phone subsidy to broadband
- FCC clears technology use to block robocalls
- Defense chief says U.S. can fly over South China Sea