August 07, 2013

Nidal Hasan Trial Day 2: Defense Attorney Claims Hasan Wants Death Penalty

We're only at day two and already the Nidal Hasan case is in the second day of the absolutely bizarre. As you'll recall, yesterday Hasan, acting as his own lawyer, admitted to being the man responsible for the greatest act of terror on US soil since 9/11. He even went further than that claiming that he was, indeed, an enemy of the United States fighting on the other side in the war on terror. In effect, admitting to treason.

But today it got even more bizarre as Hasan's "standby counsel" -- the guy responsible for advising Hasan, but not arguing on his behalf -- got up and objected to his own client's defense strategy. He claimed Hasan's defense so far proved that the traitor wants to die.

So, Hasan wants to die. We want him dead. Win - win, right?

Nope, the lawyer just had to be an asshole about it and try to save Hasan's neck:

The court-martial of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of carrying out the 2009 mass shootings at Fort Hood, was suspended Wednesday after a lawyer accused the defendant of deliberately trying to secure a death sentence....

Wednesday morning, one of [Hasan's standby attorneys] Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, offered to step in and represent Hasan.

Poppe told military judge Col. Tara Osborn that it is “clear [Hasan’s] goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty.” ...

“I object. That’s a twist of the facts,” Hasan responded. He repeatedly asked the judge for permission to explain why Poppe’s claim was wrong, but refused to do so in writing.

The lawyer then asked if his part in the trial could be "minimized" if Hasan was just trying to get himself martyred. And by "minimized" read: get me away from this psycho before his stink messes up my otherwise promising career!

The thing is, I think the lawyer might be right. Hasan seems to want the death penalty so he can become a "shaheed" and he's bent on using the trial not to defend himself, but as a public platform from which he can air his grievances.

Which is fine by me. Let him air his grievances if that means we're one day closer to Hasan becoming the martyr he wishes to be. Only, let's get this over with as quickly as possible. We've already waited four years for a trial that could have and should have been over years ago.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:35 PM | Comments |