November 5, 2016: The Seventh Anniversary of the First Fort Hood Terrorist Attack

correction_aptopix__392921a

Yes, it’s been seven years since the first Fort Hood terrorist attack. U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan has been tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for his despicable Islamic terror attack at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009. 32 U.S. Army soldiers and civilians were wounded. Those killed are as follows:

Michael Grant Cahill, 62; a civilian physician assistant

Major Libardo Eduardo Caraveo

Staff Sergeant Justin Michael DeCrow

CaptainJohn P. Gaffaney, 56 (Army Reserve)

Specialist Frederick Greene

SpecialistJason Dean Hunt

Staff Sergeant Amy Sue Krueger

Private First Class Aaron Thomas Nemelka

Private First Class Michael S. Pearson

Captain Russell Gilbert Seager(Army Reserve)

Lieutenant Colonel Juanita L. Warman

Private First Class Kham See Xiong

Private First Class Francheska Velez

Despite the fact that virtually every media source reported 13 deaths, there were actually 14: PFC Velez was pregnant and cried out “My Baby” as she was fatally shot.

abc_ntl_brianross_130212_wg

Hasan was sentenced to death on Aug. 28, 2013. However, more likely than not, he will never be executed. According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a death sentence is automatically appealed to the U.S. Army Criminal Court of Appeals (ACCA). If the conviction is affirmed by the ACCA, then appeals are possible to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) and then the U.S. Supreme Court. Any of these three courts could overturn Hasan’s death sentence and commute it to life in prison.

391385-fort-hood-shooting

So how long could this appeal process last? John Galligan, a retired Army colonel who was the lead council member of Hasan’s court appointed advisory defense team (Hasan was allowed to represent himself during his trial) said

“This will invariably be an appeal that will take decades.”

Once affirmation of the death sentence makes it past these courts and the death sentence is upheld, the following steps take place: the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) makes a recommendation and forwards the case to the Secretary of the Army who then forwards the case to the president of the U.S.

The president may request and consider input from the Attorney General, or any other member of the executive branch. After that, the President then may take action approving, disapproving, or commuting the death sentence.”

If the president approves the death sentence, then Hasan could seek habeas relief via the “Article III judiciary”. If denied, then Hasan would eventually receive punishment by lethal injection.

Bottom line? Justice will continue to be placed on hold for many years. And that’s a shame!

Chuck Yarling has had many titles in his career thus far: veteran, engineer, math teacher, consultant, technical writer, book author and publisher, and triathlete. He was a member the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bugles Across America, which plays Taps at military funerals and special events. Spec. 5 Chuck Yarling served with the 26th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam as an awards clerk. His service with the U.S. Army resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal. You may reach Chuck at [email protected]