So MAJ Nidal Hasan--the Fort Hood shooter-- will get his sentencing tomorrow. Today witnesses testified how their lives were impacted by this man. I'm conflicted on what is a just punishment. The guy obviously wants to be executed so that he can "live on" in martyrdom. He purposely fired his lawyers, and gave no defense literally. That's why I'd rather he rots in prison...
Fort Hood, Texas (CNN) -- After weeks of mostly
silence in his defense, convicted Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan had
little more to say Tuesday in the capital sentencing phase of his
court-martial, telling the jury panel three short words: "The defense
His brief remarks
produced a momentary gasp in the courtroom. The 13-member panel that
earlier convicted the defendant for premeditated murder will now return
Wednesday morning, to decide whether the Army Medical Corps officer will
live or die for his crimes.
The November 5, 2009,
killings on this sprawling U.S. Army base by a lone gunman left 13
people dead and 32 others wounded, some severely.
Hasan, who serves as his
own attorney, called no witnesses; nor did he offer any documentary
evidence or explanation for why he should not die for his crimes. He
also offered no explanation for his refusal to mount any defense in
either the trial or sentencing phases. Judge Tara Osborn, an Army
colonel, reluctantly granted his wishes, telling Hasan, "You're the
captain of your own ship."
Fort Hood shooter facing death penalty
Jury weighs death penalty for Hasan
Chilling details from Fort Hood massacre
Photos: Worst mass shootings in U.S.
Tuesday morning saw the
last of 19 victims and family members of those wounded or killed giving
heartbreaking testimony: emotional recollections of lost loved ones, as
well as injuries -- physical and emotional -- suffered nearly four years
"The shooting and his
killing is not going to destroy my family," said Joleen Cahill, widow of
Michael Cahill, the only civilian to die in the massacre. "He is not
going to win," she said firmly, referring to the defendant sitting just
Hasan asked no questions
of the prosecution witnesses, who spoke separately on the stand. None
directly addressed Hasan at the defense table or bothered to look at him
while they testified. Hasan himself stared intently at all the
witnesses during testimony, occasionally wiping his nose.
Three shooting victims,
eight widows and widowers, six parents and an adult offspring were among
those who fought tears to describe their physical and emotional
suffering over the past two days.
Prison or death for Hasan? It's up to the jury now
Cahill recalled going numb when she was told about the killings. "A lot of that night was a blank."
Also testifying Tuesday
was Jerri Krueger, mother of Sgt. Amy Krueger, who was 29 at the time of
the incident. She recalled what her daughter said the day of the
September 11 attacks: "She said, 'Mom, I'm joining the Army.' I told her
she couldn't fight bin Laden all by herself, and she said, 'Watch me.' "
Krueger and her best friend enlisted the next day, and she had aspired to be a clinical psychologist.
"When a parent loses a child," said Jerri Krueger, "it creates an irreplaceable void. I live with that every day."
Hasan was convicted
Friday of all 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of
attempted murder in connection with the shooting rampage at a Fort Hood
deployment processing center. The incident occurred about a month before
Hasan was to deploy to Afghanistan.
Wounded by two gunshots was Lt. Col. Randy Royer, a Reservist.
"I have mental issues; I
take anxiety medication," he told the panel Tuesday. He suffers from
post-traumatic stress disorder, and dealing with crowds is especially
tough. Visiting the local pharmacy, where chairs line the counter,
reminds him of the setup at the center where the killings occurred. "I
don't do well with that," he said softly.
Fort Hood victims feel betrayed
Prosecutors presented "aggravating" evidence to demonstrate why Hasan deserves lethal injection.
unexpectedly recessed mid-afternoon Monday, and Hasan's standby attorney
John Galligan told CNN that "health-related concerns promoted the
From his wheelchair, the
defendant, who was wounded by military police in the attacks and
paralyzed, repeatedly asked the bench Monday to take brief breaks from
Among the victims'
family members testifying Tuesday was Philip Warman, who was so
distraught about losing his wife -- 55-year-old Lt. Col Juanita Warman
-- that he testified that friends had to take his guns away for his own
safety. And he abused alcohol almost constantly until the following
"I was falling apart," he testified. "It was like something was ripped from me."
Warman entered rehab and
has not had a drink since. He earns Alcoholics Anonymous coins as
reminders of his sobriety. He told the panel that he pushes the coins
into the ground when he visits his wife's grave at Arlington National
Edited by Tbaby - Aug 27 2013 at 11:17pm