In 2009, Nidal Hassan, a US Army medic, carried out a shootout at Fort Hood in Texas, killing 13 people in the process.
He eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death.
This week, his case will be heard in an appeals court and, depending on the outcome, he could possibly be executed. If he does, it will be the first military execution since 1961.
military time reports:
The United States could carry out its first military execution in more than 60 years
A former soldier sentenced to military death for the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, could be executed after the nation’s top military court hears the case.
Former Army Major Nidal Hasan, 52, is expected to present his case to the Armed Services Court of Appeals on Tuesday in what is widely believed to be the deadliest mass shooting ever at a US military installation.
On Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan walked into a Texas post readiness processing center and opened fire, killing 13 people — including a pregnant soldier — and injuring 32. Hasan admitted shooting at his court-martial in 2013 and was sentenced to death. .
If Hasan is put to death, it would be the first military execution since 1961, when ex-soldier John Bennett was hanged after being found guilty of raping and attempting to kill a young girl.
Tuesday’s hearing marks the next step for the case in the lengthy military appeal process. Regardless of the outcome of the hearing, it remains unclear if and when an enforcement decision could be made.
“I would say a lot of things could happen,” Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told the Military Times.
Once a decision is made, the case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, Dieter said. The president must also weigh the last word on the fate of the ex-soldier. As commander-in-chief, the president is required to confirm a sentence of execution or commute it to what would likely be life in prison.
This puts Biden in a bind. He still wants to come across as a badass, but his party would oppose the idea of carrying out a death sentence.
The families of the victims would also likely raise hell if Biden commuted the sentence.