Trial Of Accused Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan To Begin Tuesday
After a number of frustrating delays, the trial of accused Fort Hood gunman Nidal Malik Hasan is set to begin Tuesday.
Hasan will represent himself in court and will have the option of questioning witnesses, including victims of the 2009 attack and family members of the deceased. Hasan has admitted to carrying out the attack that killed 13 people and wounded over 32, but he is prohibited by military law from entering a guilty plea because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
However, if Hasan is sentenced to death, it is likely that he will appeal and may never make it to the death chamber. 11 of the 16 death sentences handed down by military juries in the past 30 years have been overturned, and no active-duty soldier has been executed since 1961. If Hasan is convicted and sentenced to death, his case will automatically go to an appeals court for the armed forces. If that court affirms the sentence, Hasan may then appeal to the Supreme Court or file for appeals in federal civilian courts. Ultimately, the President of the United States must sign off on his death sentence.