FORT HOOD — With one week left until the start of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan’s death penalty court-martial, Hasan fired his lawyers and asked to represent himself at trial.

In response, the presiding judge delayed the start of jury selection to June 5. A pretrial hearing scheduled for Wednesday will take up the matter.

It is not the first time Hasan has fired an attorney. In 2011, he fired his civilian counsel, Belton attorney John Galligan.

Hasan has since been represented by military-appointed counsel, who have been successful in securing multiple trial delays and having a judge thrown off the case.

Victims of the shooting received word of Hasan’s request prior to Fort Hood releasing a statement Wednesday.

If Hasan is allowed to represent himself, he would be questioning and cross examining some of the people he is accused of shooting.

Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder stemming from the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood.

He has filed letters of intent to plead guilty to all charges, though has been prevented from doing so because the government is seeking the death penalty.

In order for presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn to allow Hasan to represent himself, the 42-year-old Army psychiatrist must prove he is making the decision intelligently and understands the consequences.

The legal standard is that as long as Hasan is determined competent and understands the disadvantages of representing himself, he should be allowed to continue acting as his own counsel, according to the Military Judges’ Benchbook.

“I think it would be an error for a judge to deny (Hasan’s request) and put improper restriction on a defendant that is capable and competent to represent himself,” Galligan said.

Judges are provided a list of 25 questions to ask a defendant, which include several statements that advise them of the disadvantages and dangers of acting as pro se counsel.

Hasan’s counsel would likely be allowed to remain in the courtroom, either as spectators or at the defendants table.

They would still be available to provide Hasan with legal advice, though unable to argue or question witnesses on his behalf unless Hasan gives them permission.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553

(6) comments

Mamma Griz

Thank you, Eliza, for reminding me of the saying.


" Man Who represents himself ,has a fool for a client."

Another delay tactic ? Hasan will next need time to lawyer himself up in order to represent himself ?
Will we now have to pay to have him escorted to a law library, so he can check out some law books to study up on 'the law' ?

The judge has already delayed the picking of a jury by another week.

Is Hasan causing delay until the noted Radical Muslim date of Sept.11th ?

I believe the people, and especially those who have dead family members or were wounded because of this man, deserve the consideration which now seems to be given only to the accused killer.

In America No man is suppose to be above the law, However,Someone is making it seem as if Maj. Hasan could end up possibly being just that.

Is Hasan making a mockery of the justice system in the U.S.?
Is he being allowed to make a mockery of the American Solders who he slaughtered ?

Mamma Griz

I wish I could remember just how the saying goes, but it boils down to the fact that a person who wants to represent himself is a person who has picked an idiot as a lawyer. But however it goes, lets get it over with. Put that piece of @^%& where they have to pipe sunshine and air to him, and don't class him as a veteran-- that would be a disgrace to veterans. His main question will be something about if the witness sees the person in that courtroom-- that is the only reason he grew the beard and not for religious reasons.


I don't feel he should be allowed to represent himself; simply because he would use this venue to slanderize, berate and criticize the American people while beating his drum for his religion and beliefs.


What a scumbag. I see this as a last-ditch effort to postpone his impeding conviction.


This ordeal has been nothing but ridiculous and never ending. A total waste of taxpayer money and a total disservice to those who were killed or wounded in the terrorist attack. Yes, terrorist attack, NOT workplace violence. Give the world a break and get this trial over with!

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