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Morning report: Aug. 8

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 7:31 am

It's day three, or is it day two of the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan?

The confusion arises from the judge halting Hasan's court-martial Wednesday before any witnesses testified. The issue at hand is the perceived "ethical dilemma" of Hasan's former defense team. For full coverage, check out today's coverage here.

Lt. Col. Kris Poppe thinks Hasan is bent on getting the death penalty. The judge did not allow Poppe to say so, but it appears the defense team thinks Hasan wishes to martyr himself by ensuring a guilty verdict and a death sentence. The presiding judge, Col. Tara Osborn, cut the hearing short after discussing a motion Poppe filed on behalf of the entire defense team, including paralegals, asking Osborn basically to either remove them from the case or put them in charge.

My daily prediction is that Osborn will deny the motion, instruct Poppe and the two other standby counsel to continue advising and assisting Hasan. That will pave the way for the trial to continue.

I will be posting updates on Twitter. Check out @KDHcrime for up-to-the-minute updates.

Media round-up:

Many agencies planned to leave yesterday, but the unresolved nature of yesterday's hearing has brought most back to see how it pans out. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Associated Press, Reuter's, the Austin American-Statesman and the San Antonio Express-News along with local TV network affiliates and regional stations from Houston and Dallas are here.

Fox News is at it again, reporting on another page of Hasan's sanity board hearing. This page states Hasan considered a similar attack at Fort Benning, Ga., during a scheduled pre-deployment leave. Hasan's former defense attorney, Belton-based lawyer John Galligan, has been regularly releasing bits of a 49-page sanity board report among other things exclusively to Fox News. Galligan released another page to Fox yesterday, which can be viewed here.

USA Today has an editorial examining the motivations and history of defendants representing themselves. While the old adage is that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client, "Hasan is no fool because he is not trying to win his case or even survive."

The Washington Post has an op-ed from shooting victim Shawn Manning, who implores the Department of Defense to reclassify the Fort Hood shooting as a terrorist act. Manning is the lead plaintiff in a civil suit against the DoD, Army and Hasan and seeks damages for benefits he says have been unfairly denied to victims because the Army calls the attack "workplace violence." "This has left many families suffering not just physical and emotional wounds, but financial ones as well," he wrote.

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