Conflict & Justice

Fort Hood shooting trial heads to closing arguments


Major Nidal Malik Hasan could face the death penalty in the military trial for the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, each of which will be tried as a capital offense.


U.S. Government Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The US Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 fellow soldiers and wounding 31 others rested his case on Wednesday without calling any witnesses to testify, Reuters reported.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is representing himself on charges stemming from the shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, nearly four years ago.

On Tuesday, military prosecutors rested their case in the capital murder court-martial of Hasan, an American-born Muslim who has admitted in court to being the shooter, Reuters said.

The 42-year-old Hasan told the court that he switched sides in what he considered a US war against Islam.

He told the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, he opened fire to prevent American troops from deploying overseas and killing members of the Taliban, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Osborn, however, ruled Hasan couldn’t argue that in his defense.

Proceedings on Wednesday took just seconds, with the judge asking him if anyone had pressured him into his decision to call no witnesses.

“No ma’am,” Hasan said, according to Reuters.

She then excused the jury, and scheduled closing arguments for Thursday morning.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, called 90 witnesses during the trial.

The Associated Press reported that Hasan’s judge-appointed advisors have accused him of seeking out a death penalty so he can become a martyr.

They asked to be excused from the proceedings, but the judge ordered them to remain involved.

Hasan had listed two people – a mitigation expert in capital murder cases and an expert in religious conversion – yet he declined to call them both on Tuesday, the AP reported.

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