For a little over a week I’ve been a bit preoccupied with medical issues affecting my family, but I have kept up with the trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with massacring soldiers at Fort Hood, the army base in Texas. He is being tried in a military court, and the panel of 13 senior officers received the case on Thursday, with deliberations to resume today.
|Photo Credit – Brigitte Woosley via AP|
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the November 5, 2009, shooting rampage at a deployment processing center where prosecutors say he targeted soldiers he was set to deploy with to Afghanistan. During the trial, the prosecution said that the evidence shows that Hasan believed he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible. If Hasan is convicted of two or more counts of premeditated murder, he faces a possible death sentence in the penalty phase.
In the meantime, Hasan continues to draw his full military salary. While so many of us think that is so wrong, and certainly an insult to the families of his victims, there is a reason why pay is not suspended immediately after someone in the military is charged with a crime. On Outlook.com, Kate Andrews had an interesting article about that issue. It is well worth a read.
NOTE: The jury found Hasan guilty late this afternoon, and sentencing deliberations begin on Monday.
In less serious news, a man in Minnesota had his license taken away for driving too slowly and he won’t be able to get it back. Gary Constans, 59, was stopped by police several times between 2008 and 2012, when his license was taken away. Constans said in court his Ford Ranger has a “sweet spot” for gas mileage at 48 mph. He plans to continue trying to get his license back. “I just thank the Lord I’m retired from all my jobs, and I thank the Lord I don’t have a wife, because could you see her yelling at me?” Constans said.
I’m guessing the folks stuck behind him did a bit of yelling, too.