• October 1, 2014

Former Hasan attorney says Army making it a ‘show trial’

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Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012 4:30 am | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

To the Editor:

Killeen businessmen supposedly want to give Killeen a quick face lift and promote a “positive image” to media visitors during the Hasan trial (“Killeen seeks to boost image as media descent for Hasan trial,” KDH, Aug. 12). Sadly, the tenor of the article is precisely the reason why I have long argued Major Hasan cannot and will not receive a fair trial in the Fort Hood community.

Many folks have publicly complained about the time and expense associated with the Hasan trial. Most have spoken out of sheer ignorance about the facts and without understanding the death penalty trial process.

The cost and delay associated with the Hasan case stems directly from the fact that the U.S. Army chose to make it a death-penalty show trial.

The Hasan case is bigger than Fort Hood. It is being funded and choreographed out of the Pentagon. The Army mission is clear — secure a conviction and a death sentence, even though the case will remain in appellate channels for decades. The Army seemingly does care not that a sentence to death — even if never executed — would make him a martyr in the eyes of some.

Fort Hood’s last experience with a death penalty case warrants mention. In 1989, Pvt. (Dwight) Loving was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of two Killeen cab drivers. He has been on death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for more than 23 years and no execution date is scheduled. By comparison, Major Hasan’s case is far more complex; thus, the appellate process reasonably can be expected to be protracted and very costly.

With the Hasan trial about to commence in earnest, it would behoove readers to reflect upon whether a temporary face lift to the downtown area will really change the long-term memory that visitors will harbor about how the Army and local community approached this case. The public would benefit from a serious reread of the U.S. Constitution and refresher course in civics since our ability to protect the fragile fabric of criminal justice is seriously tested in difficult cases like that which is now before us. Against this background, we should join in common prayer for Major Hasan instead of worrying about how to spruce up the untidy areas of Killeen and its environs.

John P. Galligan

Belton

 

Editor’s note: Galligan is a former defense attorney for Maj. Nidal Hasan.

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Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • jrwkilleen posted at 8:15 am on Tue, Aug 28, 2012.

    jrwkilleen Posts: 4

    I do not agree with sentencing Hasan to death. I feel he should receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. After that sentence is handed down, take him to the prison and push his wheelchair into the center of the general population.

     
  • Bubba posted at 8:54 am on Mon, Aug 20, 2012.

    Bubba Posts: 707

    If Mr. Galligan believed all of his own self-serving, pompous huffing and puffing here, he would still be a part of the defense team. It appears he threw in the towel at the first sign that he would not get credit. Now, he has ordained himself to be the arbiter of all that is best and true, and deems to arrogantly lecture us country bumpkins on the Constitution and civics. Well, physician, heal thyself. Maybe Mr. Galligan should try reading our Constitution and try taking a civics class, as he was a part of the delay tactics that have brought us here. Be that as it may, we must stand by stoically and be patient while justice is rendered in this case.

     
  • Eliza posted at 7:22 am on Sun, Aug 19, 2012.

    Eliza Posts: 785

    The writer of the above Letter to the Editor,John P. Galligan,
    a former defense attorney for Major Hasan the murderer of 14 (including the unborn child) plus the wounding of many more on Ft Hood on Nov.2009, Is in my eye, still working in defense of Maj. Hasan.

    The writer states,We should join in common prayer for the Major instead of worrying about what the town looks like for any world news reporters.-- I agree with him on the point of not caring what the outside media may think of Killeen on the surface.
    However I believe the former defense attorney is still arguing in defense of the accused when he states, it is anyone except the Major who has caused this case not to come forward and for its delay.
    The writer should accept he is also responsible for the delay of trial when he argued spent months arguing for his client,a man who willingly took it upon himself to kill his fellow soldiers, and did this in the uniform of an army he was thought to be loyal toward,at least on the surface by the people who knew of him.

    The writer seems to have a problem thinking the man may receive the death penalty.

    Instead of trying to state in some manner that it is the town of Killeen's fault or the people who live there,the pentagon or the world who is responsible for what might turn into a death sentence.

    The writer himself has to realize,If a death sentence is awarded his former client at trial,it is what Major Hasan was expecting the day he decided to give the death sentence to all those he killed on Nov. 5th,2009.

    I believe on that day,in his radical mind, he was ready and expected to die for the 'cause' ,where his plan went afoul was ,he didn't die.--

    Now he along with his battery of defense attorneys are causing a delay and will even try to give a reason of why he caused the damage he did on the day he caused so much destruction.--

    Instead of the writer of the article stating 'we' must understand the Constitution and Pray in order to give a fair trial to the Major.- I believe the majority already know what the writers of the Constitution would have to say in the present case of the Major. Since they,I feel would have worked and did their thinking when writing that Constitution using the basis of Solomon type laws which would be an eye for an eye.-

    It is too sad that the Major decided to destroy others lives and at the same time,work toward destroying himself. But he made that decision,now he will have to live with the decision of the court.

    I am confident the Major will have a fair trial,the Major knows it,and all of his defense attorneys past and present know it.

    It will not help matters by them trying to place blame in someway on the town of Killeen,the people,or the pentagon or even the publics supposed non-knowledge of the U.S. Constitution.

    The man proudly did his deed in broad daylight. Now he should advise his defense attorneys to let him proudly accept any punishment from the courts in the same manner. Instead of he and they using every means to cause the delay to continue.

     

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