As have many of you, my network news has been inundated with coverage of the Major Nidal Hasan murder trial taking place at Fort Hood Texas. Although it chaps my backside that the military is taking a lot of time and effort to ensure due process for the admitted killer, I believe the end result with be guilty on all counts and imposition of the death penalty. However, the likelihood of that sentence being carried out is very slim. For my own edification, I did a little research on the history and protocol requirements of military executions. Below are a few highlights of that research.
Since 1916 records indicate that 135 people have been executed by the Army. However, the last military execution was in 1961. A military jury (courts martial) must be unanimous in both verdict and sentence of death. Between 1984-2009 (couldn’t find more current info), there has been 49 military cases in which the death penalty was sought; with 15 impositions of the death penalty. Of those 15, two sentences were commuted to life by the commanding general (convening authority) and eight sentences were either reversed on appeal or commuted to a life sentence by the military appeals court(death sentences automatically are reviewed by a military appeals court). My research indicated that there are currently 5 men on military death row (Military Discipline Barracks-Fort Leavenworth Texas). Three of those have continuing appeals pending. Two have exhausted their military appeals and their death sentences upheld. Of those two, one had a death writ signed by President Bush-but now has appealed to the Federal District Court. One case has moved through the Supreme Court and the death sentence upheld. That case is awaiting a Presidential writ to carry out the sentence. Yes-all military executions require a specific presidential affirmation order to approve the execution.
Considering all, military execution of Nidal Hasan is very unlikely. However, as he goes through all of the process protocols, we will continue to be harangued by his presence in our daily news. Ronald Regan signed a revision to the Uniform Code of Military Justice which authorized a sentence in capital cases of life without parole (previously if sentenced to life under the UCMJ-parole was possible after 10 years). This may be the dumbest thing you have heard today, but since I am tired of this scum bag being in a position in which he has the ability to suck up my air space to tout his Islamic Holy Warrior mantra-I vote to convict and lock him up forever. Note: I can appreciate the prison population with whom he would serve his sentence are all former U.S. military. Although now prisoners-I expect there is still a form of brotherhood among the Fort Leavenworth prison population-as such I expect that Hassan’s existence would be miserable and probably short lived…..