Sunday 2 April 2023

2009 Fort Hood Shooter Could Face Execution – Would be First Military Execution Since 1961


Back in 2009, Nidal Hassan, a doctor in the U.S. Military, went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas, killing 13 people in the process.

He ultimately pleaded guilty and was given the death penalty.

This week, his case is going to be heard by an appeals court, and depending on the outcome, he could possibly face execution. If he does, it will be the first military execution since 1961.

The Military Times reports:

US could carry out its first military execution in over 60 years

A former soldier on military death row for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, could face execution after the nation’s top military court hears the case.

Ex-Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, 52, is set for his case to stand before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces on Tuesday for what is largely considered the deadliest mass shooting ever on a United States military installation.

On Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan entered a readiness processing center at the Texas post and opened fire, killing 13 — including a pregnant soldier — and wounding 32. Hasan admitted to the shootings at his court-martial in 2013 and was sentenced to death.

If Hasan is put to death, it would be the first military execution since 1961, when ex-soldier John Bennett was hanged after being convicted for raping and attempting to kill a young girl.

The hearing Tuesday marks the next stage of the case in the drawn-out military appeals process. Regardless of the hearing’s outcome, it remains unclear if and when a decision on execution could be made.

“I would say a lot could happen,” Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told Military Times.

Once a decision is reached, the case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, Dieter explained. The president must also weigh in with final say on the ex-soldier’s fate. As commander in chief, the president is required to confirm an execution sentence or commute it to what would likely be life in prison.

This puts Biden in a bit of a bind. He always wants to appear to be a tough guy on guns, but his party would oppose the idea of carrying out a death sentence.

The families of the victims would probably also raise hell if Biden commutes the sentence.

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