Military archbishop opposes death penalty for Fort Hood shooter


Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services said he opposes capital punishment for Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who was sentenced to death Aug. 28 following his conviction of the shootings in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

"The church teaches that unjustified killing is wrong in all circumstances. That includes the death penalty," Broglio said in an Aug. 29 statement.

"Maj. Hasan and his victims are all entitled to justice," the archbishop added. "Maj. Hasan, at least, now has recourse to a scrupulous appeals process. Would that his victims have received as much fairness."

The jury at a military court-martial convicted Hasan of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in connection with the massacre, which a U.S. Senate report later called "the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001."

Hasan was himself wounded in a gun battle with Army civilian police when he followed a wounded victim outside. Hasan was shot in the spine and has had to use a wheelchair ever since.

Like what you're reading? Get free emails from NCR.

According to documents obtained and published by The New York Times, Hasan told medical health experts in 2010 that he "would still be a martyr" even if he was convicted and executed.

Hasan, who received permission to act as his own attorney, questioned only three of the witnesses called during the court-martial, introduced no defense witnesses and gave no closing argument. At the penalty phase of the trial, he cross-examined none of the 24 witnesses called. In addition to the death sentence, the jury recommended that Hasan also be stripped of his pay and dismissed from the Army.

When the trial started Aug. 6, Hasan said in his opening statement that he was the gunman, adding the evidence would show he was the shooter. He also told the hearing that he had "switched sides" and considered himself a "mujahideen" waging "jihad" against the United States.

He had last year offered twice to plead guilty to the charges, but Army rules forbid the entry of a guilty plea in a death-penalty case.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017