The Fort Hood murderer, Nidal Hasan says he wants to plead guilty to 13 counts of murder, but Army rules don’t allow a judge to accept a guilty plea in a capital case, so his lawyers want the newest judge to consider removing the death penalty from her little bag of tools, according to the Associated Press;
If the death sentence is removed, Hasan’s punishment would be life without parole – which he already faces if convicted of the 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post.
The date for his long-delayed trial has not been set, but pretrial hearings are scheduled Wednesday through Friday so the new military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, can reconsider several defense requests previously rejected by the former judge.
Although I oppose the death penalty mostly, Hasan certainly deserves it more than most criminals. However, the Army hasn’t put anyone to death since John Bennet was hanged in 1961 for the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl. The last soldier who was ordered executed was Ronald Gray who was convicted of two murders, his death warrant was signed by President GW Bush, but his sentence was stayed. There are five other people currently on death row, and it’s not very likely that Hasan will join them anyway, and he certainly won’t live long enough to execute him. I say throw out the death penalty and let him rot in his adult diapers in a cell somewhere – he ain’t going no where.