Nearly four years after he opened fire with a laser sighted pistol on a group of Ft. Hood soldiers preparing to deploy to the Middle East, a jury today is expected to begin deliberating the face of Maj. Nidal Hasan.
Hasan wrapped up his case yesterday by calling no witnesses and presenting no defense. He did not testify on his own behalf.
"The proceedings began with (Judge Col. Tara) Osborn instructing Hasan to begin his defense," Fort Hood spokesman Chris Haug said. "Hasan said, quote, 'The Defense Rests,' end quote."
But it was what Hasan said after that which raised eyebrows. Hasan urged Osborn not to allow the jury of 13 Army officers to consider anything except pre meditated murder, the charge that carries the death penalty. Osborn had asked whether the panel should be allowed to consider a lesser verdict of aggravated assault or non capital murder.
Hasan said that would indicate that the crime was carried out 'in the heat of passion,' and Hasan said that was not the case.
"I had adequate provocation," Hasan told the judge. "I was motivated by an unjust war."
Hasan's comments appear to support the complaints of Hasan's stand by military defense lawyers who at one point asked to be removed from the case, saying Hasan was trying to get the death penalty. Hasan has told an Army review panel that he still feels that if he is executed by the U.S. government, that will somehow make him a 'Martyr for Allah.'
It is unknown whether Hasan will present any closing argument. One thing he has not done during his trial is taking the route used by 'twentieth hijacker' Zacharias Moussoui, and use his public trial as a stage to shout his jihadist gibberish. Hasan has been very muted during the trial, sometimes going days without opening his mouth and infrequently cross examining witnesses.