How will justice be served in the case of the Fort Hood shooting?
In more ways than one, Maj. Nidal Hasan has admitted to the attack, which killed 13 and wounded 32 in 2009.
“‘The evidence will clearly show I am the shooter,” he said during the opening statement in his trial Tuesday.
Justice can be a tricky thing.
At its core, justice is something between a victim and an attacker, and a resolution to what has happened in the attack; a sense of right that results after an act of wrong.
In our society, we rely on the courts to serve justice. Sometimes the courts get it right. Sometimes they don’t. Our justice system isn’t perfect. Nothing is.
All cases are different, especially the one that started Nov. 5, 2009.
But what really is justice in this case? Is it a conviction and execution of Hasan? Should he be put to death for killing 13, wounding dozens and terrifying hundreds or more?
Will Hasan’s death serve as the appropriate justice for the families of those who were killed that terrible day?
It’s something that each individual has to answer. Perhaps the families of all 13 want that. Perhaps some don’t.
And what of the 32 wounded by Hasan? Some of them were shot three, four, even seven times. Many are still reeling from the pain of nearly four years ago.
What’s justice for them? The death of Hasan?
Suppose he is not sentenced with the death penalty, and is allowed to serve the rest of his life at Fort Leavenworth. Will justice have been served?
I’ve spoken with one victim who said he has forgiven Hasan. Not that he’d like to see the major set free, but he’s at peace.
Perhaps that is what justice is really about: Being at peace after one has been wronged.
And what of justice for the community? The Fort Hood community that was, yet again, put in a state of shock due to a mass shooting.
We run stories on Hasan all the time. We’ve been covering it every step of the way.
People are tired. People are tired of seeing his mug shot over and over and over again.
What is justice for them?
An end to the trial? An end to the attention? Or the death of Hasan?
Again, each individual must decide that.
In any event, it’s fair to say that justice is coming in one form or another.
And everyone should try to be at peace with whatever that decision is.