Alleged Ft Hood Shooter appears to be trying to get the death penalty
On the first day Maj. Nidal Hasan went on trial in a fight for his life, he claimed responsibility for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood. He posed no questions to most witnesses and rarely spoke. On one of the few times he did talk, it was to get on the record that the alleged murder weapon was his, even though no one had asked.
The Army psychiatrist sometimes took notes while acting as his own attorney, but he mostly looked forward impassively and rarely asked for help.
By Wednesday, the lawyers ordered to help him said they'd had enough — they couldn't watch him fulfill a death wish.
"It becomes clear his goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty," his lead standby attorney, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, told the judge. That strategy, he argued, "is repugnant to defense counsel and contrary to our professional obligations."
The Lt. Col. is right of course. If he is there are counsel to the accused, per the requirements of the Constitution, he has certain obligations to the legal profession as well, and helping your client talk himself into death is not a good thing.
I'm not sure why I even bothered with "alleged" in the title here either, since Hasan doesn't even contest it:
"I am the shooter."
Maj. Nidal Hasan made that blunt declaration Tuesday at the outset of his court-martial in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood. The Army psychiatrist is charged with killing 13 and wounding 32 at a processing center for soldiers heading into combat zones overseas.
"The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter," Hasan told the panel of 13 senior officers who will decide his fate. "The evidence presented with this trial will show one side. The evidence will also show that I was on the wrong side. I then switched sides."
I think we've wasted about as much time and effort on this guy as we need to. Let's just give him what he wants, and not bother to publicise it or anything else. I know he wants to be a martyr, and my guess is he'll get his wish, but this farce isn't really helping anyone.
UPDATE: Twitchy has more info in a post: