Should Hasan face death penalty?
It is not much of a surprise, but Maj. Nidal Hasan has been convicted. AP reports:
A jury of 13 high-ranking military officers reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all 13 counts of premeditated murder and a guilty verdict on 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. Hasan is now eligible for the death penalty.
Just because he is eligible does not mean he will be executed:
Death sentences are rare in the military and trigger automatic appeals that take decades to play out. Among the final barriers to execution is authorization from the president. No American soldier has been executed since 1961.
If we believe he is sincere in his devotion to jihad, martyrdom would be his preferred outcome, and his refusal to defend himself is consistent with this. So, instead a life sentence at hard labor, perhaps forced to share a cell with Chelsea Manning, would be a more appropriate punishment.
Why hasn't the DoD immediately reclassified Fort Hood as a terror incident instead of the laughable assertion it was "workplace violence," thereby granting recognition and benefits due to the victims and their survivors? The only excuse has been that such a declaration could corrupt a possible guilty verdict and render it subject to reversal.
Hasan exposed the extreme vulnerability of military installations due to the no carrying firearms policies imposed in the name of "gun safety." Had people in the office he attacked been armed, the carnage would have been less.
Now is the time to start holding responsible thoser officers who observed Hasan's Islamoradicalism and said nothing. At a mimimum, we need to get on the record the cost of enforcement of politically correct diversity policies that led this obviously dangerous Islamist to be promoted to the rank of Major and tolerated depsite his danger signals.