Fort Hood shooter ‘trying to get himself executed’, lawyer says
A US Army major who killed 13 of his comrades in a shooting rampage is doing everything he can to ensure he is executed, a court martial heard.
Self-styled “soldier of Allah” Major Nidal Hasan, 42, who is representing himself in his trial at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, was said to be “effectively working in concert with the prosecution to achieve the death sentence”.
His own court-appointed standby counsel, whose job is to advise Hasan on legal matters, made a statement to the judge explaining that a capital sentence was the defendant’s “trial goal.”
Lt Col Kris Poppe, speaking on the second day of the case, said that was “repugnant” to him as a defence lawyer, and it was “contrary to his professional obligations” to help Hasan die.
He asked not be required to do so, offering to withdraw if necessary, or to take on full responsibility for the defence which would allow him to fight the death penalty.
On the opening day Hasan had made a brief statement in which he said “I am the shooter,” and that the evidence would show he carried out the massacre of soldiers at Fort Hood on Nov 5, 2009.