Trial of Hasan a sham

Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 02:04 PM.

This fact and the likelihood that the jurors will be influenced by Hasan’s appearance notwithstanding Osborn’s flaccid instructions, could be used by the defense in what is sure to be a long process of appeals should he be found guilty of murder and awarded the death penalty. The Hasan defense team: "My client was found guilty due to his appearance. The jury was biased. The Army should have made sure he looked like a STRAC soldier vice a terrorist in uniform."

Last week 40 eyewitnesses in his trial described Hasan randomly shooting, killing 13 and injuring scores of his fellow soldiers. Hasan himself admitted to the crimes.

Why did I write that this is sham trial at the beginning of this column? In addition to the fiasco of Hasan’s beard, the dismissal of a judge with some guts, the grazing for and appointment by the Army of a compliant judge, and Hasan being permitted to defend himself (but not being allowed to offer a plea of guilty) does anybody really think Hasan could possibly be found innocent?

If there has ever been a case in the history of the U.S. military that deserved the accused being forced to comply with military orders, and one deserving of a guilty verdict and being awarded the punishment of death, this is such a case. Regardless of the challenges of imposing the death penalty in the U.S. military (the last military execution was 52 years ago in 1961) and regardless of his possibly personal wishes to be awarded death, Hasan deserves to die.

Barry Fetzer is a columnist with the Havelock News. He can be reached at 

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