Good morning from the Media Operations Room. That's what the Army has deemed the Starlight Room here at Club Hood. The Media Operations Room (they call it the MOC) has been the temporary office for dozens of reporters for the duration of the trial.
It is day 15 of Maj. Nidal Hasan's trial and day one of the now-convicted Fort Hood shooter's sentencing trial. Here's my coverage of Friday's guilty verdict.
Here's what is expected. As of Friday, the prosecution had 19 witnesses it planned to put on the stand. Family members of each of the 13 killed in the attack will testify along with three surviving shooting victims. As it has remained throughout the trial, no one has any idea about what Hasan will say or do.
Like the guilt-innocence phase, the sentencing trial begins with opening statements, then the prosecution's case, followed by the defense, closing arguments, deliberations and finally a sentence. Because the jury found Hasan unanimously guilty of capital charges, the jury has only three choices for a sentence: life with parole, life without parole and the death penalty.
Hasan has remained virtually silent throughout his trial. That could change during sentencing, where he is allowed far more latitude in what he can say and evidence he can present. Furthermore, Hasan showed Friday he may be preparing some sort of defense when he asked the presiding judge, Col. Tara Osborn, for at least a half-day recess between the prosecution's case and his.
I'm headed into the courtroom today. Follow me on Twitter @KDHcrime for updates throughout the day.
There is still quite a media presence here. Looks like the majority of the 73 members of the media who are here today will remain for the duration. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera America, Fox News, CNN, Stars and Stripes, the Associated Press, Reuter's, regional and local TV networks affiliates and our awesome sketch artist Brigitte Woosley are here.
The Los Angeles Times obtained two officer evaluation reports made by Hasan's supervisors during his residency at Walter Reed. Both reports gave Hasan positive reviews on his job performance, one adding that his Islamic background and decision to study the cultural impact of was in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Islamic communities there would allow "others to learn from his perspectives."
Policymic says giving Hasan a death sentence would be a gift. "The minute a death sentence is announced, violent Islamists around the world will celebrate, because their enemy will have given them a gift. Hasan will become a propaganda piece and recruiting tool for the cause of international jihad, a man terrorist recruiters will depict as a hero in the struggle against the evil Americans when they try to bring impressionable young men into their movement. He will become just what he wanted to become: a martyr."