Why should this trial take months? He has already admitted to being the murderer. There are multiple witnesses. What is the purpose of this charade?
“Judge in Fort Hood military trial says Nidal Hasan can remain his own lawyer,” from FoxNews.com, August 8:
The military judge presiding over the court-martial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan ruled Thursday that he can continue to represent himself, denying a bid from his legal advisors to take over his defense amid concerns the former Army psychologist is trying to sink his own case to get the death penalty.
The lawyers assisting Hasan, called “standby attorneys,” claim he is trying to get the death penalty and have said it would be “morally repugnant” to help him achieve such a sentence. Hasan admitted in his opening statement that he was the shooter, appearing to be trying to get himself convicted.
But judge Col. Tara Osborn said Thursday she believes this is “nothing more than their disagreement with Major Hasan’s trial strategy,” and ruled that the defense attorneys are required to stay on the case. The ruling prompted Hasan’s lawyers to say they would appeal, claiming the judge was forcing them to violate professional rules of conduct.
Hasan is representing himself, but is advised by a team of attorneys appointed by the military court trying him for the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting at a Texas military base that left 13 dead and 30 injured. On Wednesday, members of his legal team told the military judge the former Army psychiatrist appears to be angling for the death penalty as he represents himself in the military trial….
Hasan’s apparent death wish, which brought his court-martial to a temporary halt Wednesday, came as no surprise to veteran prosecutors who have handled high-profile cases involving terrorists.
Hasan is representing himself, but is advised by a team of attorneys appointed by the military court trying him for the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting at a Texas military base that left 13 dead and 30 injured. On Wednesday, members of his legal team told the military judge the former Army psychiatrist appears to be angling for the death penalty as he represents himself in the military trial.
One of the attorneys, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, said he is willing to step in and serve as Hasan’s attorney, a day after Hasan gave an opening argument that lasted less than two minutes and included an unambiguous admission that he “was the shooter” who killed 13 and injured 30 in the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at the Texas Army base. Hasan’s court-appointed legal team is refusing to be part of a process in which Hasan seems determined to become a martyr, according to one former prosecutor experienced in terror cases.
If he is the shooter, as he obviously is, exactly what are they trying to protect him from, and why?
Hasan, who was left paralyzed in the attack, and is making his way around the courtroom in a wheelchair, didn’t even bother to cross-examine several of the military’s witnesses on Tuesday.
A day later, just minutes after testimony began, Osborn cleared the courtroom and later said the trial would be in recess until Thursday so she can consider Poppe’s motion.
Hasan, 42, an American-born Muslim, told the jury he was a soldier who switched sides in what he described as a war between America and his Islamic faith.
Among the witnesses who took the stand on Tuesday was shooting victim Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who told jurors he panicked when he saw Hasan holding a weapon inside a building where soldiers were preparing to deploy in November 2009. Lunsford tried to appear dead after being shot, then later decided to flee because “dead men don’t sweat,” he said….
Hasan, who wore green Army fatigues and a bushy beard, didn’t cross-examine Lunsford. Earlier in the day, Hasan characterized himself as a “mujahedeen” and said the “dead bodies will show that war is an ugly thing.”
Hasan also cross-examined prosecution witnesses, including retired Lt. Col. Ben Kirk Phillips, his former boss. When pressed by the defendant, Phillips acknowledged that his officer evaluation report had graded Hasan as “outstanding.”…
If he knew enough to be aware of Hasan’s jihadi leanings, he knew that to downgrade him for them or question him about them would have been career suicide: death by charges of “Islamophobia.”
The trial is expected to take weeks and possibly months, as many of the more than 30 people wounded in the deadliest attack on a U.S. military installation could take the witness stand.