Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Tex., the worst mass murder at a military installation in U.S. history.
Dressed in Army fatigues, Hasan, who turns 43 next month, listened impassively as the death sentence was handed down by a panel of 13 senior military officers in a unanimous decision after less than two hours of deliberations. If even a single panel member had objected, Hasan would instead have been sentenced to life in prison. He also was stripped of pay and other financial benefits, which he continued to receive while in custody.
No active-duty service member has been executed since 1961, and legal experts said it will probably be many years, if ever, before the sentence will be carried out. Hasan will be flown shortly to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he will join five other inmates on military death row, officials said.
In military cases, there are several mandatory appeal stages and a military death sentence requires final approval by the president, as commander in chief.
Despite the expected delays, survivors of the shooting welcomed the verdict. According to news reports, Kathy Platoni, an Army reservist, said: “From the bottom of my heart — he doesn’t deserve to live. I don’t know how long it takes for a death sentence to be carried out, but the world will be a better place without him.”
SOURCE: Billy Kenber
The Washington Post