The Army psychiatrist convicted in November 2009 of the horrific shooting rampage that left 13 dead and and 31 wounded was sentenced to death Wednesday by a military jury, according to USA Today.
Prosecutors had pursued the death penalty for Nidal Hasan all through the trial, saying that his murderous, senseless shooting spree at the military base “left tragic and devastating loss for victims and loved ones”.
The former mental health worker, 42, was convicted last week on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder.
In order to secure the death sentence for Hasan, a unanimous verdict had to be reached among the jury of 13 military officers. At the very least, the convicted murderer faced life imprisonment.
When the verdict was read after two hours of deliberations, Hasan appeared expressionless.
The Virginia-born man, who acted as his own attorney, stands to be the first serviceman executed by the military since 1961, when John A. Bennett was hanged at Fort Leavenworth.
While the appellate process can be long and drawn out (and in most cases take years – ultimately even requiring a sign off from the President) the sentence was a victory for family members, who all approved of what was handed down.
Joleen Cahill, whose husband Michael Cahill was killed when he tried to subdue Hasan and who had taken a job at Fort Hood as a civilian after retiring from the military, was very much relieved.
“Today a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” she told USA Today. “The (jury) gave him justice and I agree with that justice.”
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