Maj. Nidal Hasan

FORT HOOD — A military court will decide today whether Maj. Nidal Hasan will be given more time to prepare a defense strategy.

Hasan has said he will attempt to justify the killing of 13 people on post in 2009 with a “defense of others” strategy.

The “others,” he said, are members of the Taliban. The Army psychiatrist could face the death penalty if convicted of 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder connected with the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center.

His trial was set to begin last month when Hasan, 42, requested to go to trial acting as his own attorney. He initially told the court he would be able to proceed with no delay, but he asked for a three-month delay just minutes after presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn granted his request.

Hasan has since told the court he targeted soldiers who were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Military law experts said the choice in front of Osborn is in part based on the validity of Hasan’s defense and his ability to justify the time requested. Osborn should hear a summary of Hasan’s evidence prior to making a ruling.

The judge could grant Hasan’s full delay, give him less time or reject his request outright.

Hasan’s former defense attorney, John Galligan, said denying Hasan’s request outright could create appellate issues. If the continuance is granted, it will all but guarantee his trial will not conclude until very late 2013 or early 2014, more than four years after the mass shooting occurred.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553

(2) comments


These is no justtification for what he did. The evidence against him is so clear. He is paralyzed because an officer shot him becuase he was shooting defenseless soildiers at a ready ness center. no more delays its is time for him to pay for his crimes. [angry]

Mamma Griz

Last month he was told that he could represent himself. Now he says he needs more time in order to prepare a justification for the killings? He doesn't need three more months-- he killed those people. He claims "defense of others"? I thought that "defense of others" meant defense of people who are right there. Like people in your house or your neighbors. The major is wrong in his thinking. It's a shame that the person who shot him didn't use his "defense of others" and send him on a quick trip to meet his maker. But his maker wouldn't have wanted him back.

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