the fallacy of martyrdom at Fort Hood Texas..

At about 1:55 pm today (August 28th, 2013), the long nightmare that Fort Hood (and the nation) has endured finally got closure.  It’s a death sentence for MAJ Nidal Hassan and a victory for the so many decent, innocent people who suffered such grievious harm at his hands.

I was in the court room for the prosecution’s masterful closing arguments and was there when the verdict was read.  Hasan never took his eyes off the panel president as she read the verdict and once read, he slightly nodded and turned away.  Not once during the trial or sentencing did he show any emotion or remorse for what he did.

I know people are saying now he will be a martyr and I say bull. It is unlikely he will ever actually see execution since there have been no military executions in 50 years, there are still possible decades of mandatory appeals pending, and most military death sentences get overturned on appeal. Instead, the death sentence is a symbolic victory for the people he harmed and it ensures he spends the rest of his life doing the hardest time possible in near solitude.  I’m glad the panel wasn’t swayed by the idea that Hasan wanted the death penalty and wanted to be a martyr.  Doing so would have given him entirely too much power. As the lead prosecutor, COL Mulligan, stated in his closing remarks:  “He is not giving his life, we are taking his life.  This is not his gift to God, this is his debt to society.”  Well said, Sir, well said…

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About Kathleen Johnson

Vice President and past military director for American Atheists

  • PNW

    What do you think of Hasan getting the death penalty and SSgt Robert Bales ‘only’ getting a life sentence.

    • Paul Loebe

      I concur! That is an atrocity and shows again the bias. Bales deserved the death sentence.

    • Deedee

      Bales pleaded guilty, thus avoiding the death penalty. His only trial determined whether or not he would get parole. He did not, he got the worst sentence after a guilty plea.


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