Fort Hood shooter must enter plea in case08/16/2012
Fort Bragg according to the Faye Observer
Fort Hood shooter must enter plea in case
A judge declared on Tuesday, August 14th that the Army psychiatrist that was charged with the shootings at Fort Hood must enter a plea in the case prior to the end of the week according to the Faye Observer. The judge does not want jury selection delayed in the case. Major Nidal Hasan will face up to 13 counts of premeditated murder in the 2009 attack and must plead not guilty to all 13 counts. He is not allowed to plead not guilty because the charges carry the maximum punishment which is death. In addition to the 13 counts, Hasan is also charged with 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder and is allowed to plead guilty if he chooses to do so according to John Galligan, civilian lawyer. A plea deal failed over a year ago, and once that has occurred, plea deals are usually not revisited, especially not at the last minute. Jeff Addicott, the director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law noted that a plea deal was unlikely because “they’ve done all this work on the case that’s the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9-11.”
The case has over 265 people listed as witnesses, and they include a terrorism consultant who says the American-born Muslim meets the criteria for a home-grown terrorist. Judge Colonel Gregory Gross refused any further delays and stated that jury selection will begin on Monday. The trial has already been postponed from March to July and then moved to August. The delays came as a result of the defense lawyers claiming there was over 26 boxes of material to go through, and time constraints kept them from being able to evaluate the material in the given timeframe. Due to the immense amount of material, defense lawyer, Major Joseph Marcee told the judge, “I’m telling you unequivocally that if we go to trial on August 20th, we will without reservation be providing ineffective counsel for Major Hasan. Hasan was held in contempt of court for refusing to shave his beard due to his Muslim beliefs. He was fined $1000 and will be required to shave prior to the trial start date next week.