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.
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.
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!