Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday for the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.
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.
The Army psychiatrist acknowledged carrying out the attack in a crowded waiting room where unarmed troops were making final preparations to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. Thirteen people were killed and more than were 30 wounded.
Because Hasan never denied his actions, the court-martial was always less about a conviction than it was about ensuring he received the death penalty. From the beginning of the case, the federal government has sought to execute Hasan, believing that any sentence short of a lethal injection would deprive the military and the families of the dead of the justice they have sought for nearly four years.
Gov. Perry issued the following statement after the verdict was announced:
“Nidal Hasan’s cowardly attack on our military was a deliberate act of terror against our country. This guilty verdict affirms we are a nation of laws, honors the victims of this heinous act, and proves that, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, we will never waver from the core principles for which they gave their lives: freedom, liberty and democracy.”