August 28, 2013
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - A military jury has sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death for killing 13 people during the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
Hasan never denied being the gunman and has said the attack on unarmed soldiers was motivated by a desire to protect Muslim insurgents fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Because he did not dispute the allegations, the trial has been primarily a pursuit of the death penalty.
The same jury that sentenced him to death Wednesday also found him guilty last week in the attack, which also wounded more than 30 people at the Texas military base.
Before an execution date is set, the sentence will face years, if not decades, of appeals.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim, has tried through court documents and leaks to the media to justify the November 2009 shooting rampage as necessary to protect Islamic and Taliban leaders from U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He was never allowed to make those arguments to jurors, who convicted him last week for the attack that also wounded 30 people at the Texas military base.
Hasan said he would give no closing argument - passing on his final chance to address jurors before they began deliberating his fate.
He has done nothing to dissuade jurors from giving him a death sentence. Even when his standby lawyers pleaded in vain to argue on his behalf, he described them as "overzealous."
At the start of his trial he gave a brief opening statement, during which Hasan said evidence would show he was the shooter and described himself as a soldier who had "switched sides." But he called no witnesses and didn't testify, and he questioned only three of the nearly 90 witnesses called by prosecutors before he was convicted. He also gave no closing statement.
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