Fort Hood, TX, United States (4E) – Convicted Fort Hood massacre shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan got his wish Wednesday when a military jury sentenced him to death for killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in 2009.
Hasan, who declared he wanted to be martyred at the start of the 4-week trial, was emotionless when the foreman of the 13-person panel told the court-martial that he be put to death. Widows and mothers of his victims wiped tears inside the courtroom in Fort Hood.
Hasan, who is representing himself, only said, “I have no closing statement,” according to CNN, during 45 minutes of closing arguments by lead prosecutor Col. Michael Mulligan, who told the jury that the accused Army psychiatrist is a criminal and cold-blooded murderer.
The judge, Col. Tara Osborn of the Army, accepted the verdict. The convening authority, an Army general, will decide whether to accept the guilty verdict and capital sentence with the option to reduce the sentence to life in prison without parole.
The bearded and wheelchair-bound Hasan was convicted on Friday of 45 counts of murder and attempted murder in a shooting rampage at a Fort Hood building on Nov. 5, 2009. Hasan shot soldiers to be deployed to Afghanistan with a laser-sighted semiautomatic pistol out of hatred for the U.S. military’s war against Muslims and desire to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.
Hasan is expected to be transferred to the military death row in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Just like four other soldiers in the death row, he will wait for his execution to be approved by the president. Upon approval, his case is automatically appealed, a process that could take 10 to 15 years in military and federal appellate courts.
No soldier has been executed since 1961, when Army private John A. Bennett was hanged for raping and attempting to murder an Austrian girl.