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Fort Hood Shooter Wants Death Penalty Removed from Court Martial View Count: 93

Major Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army major accused of gunning down and killing 13 people and wounding 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 has made a defense request to remove the death penalty in the case.

Hasan had opened fire on a group of soldiers readying to be deployed to Afghanistan, and was shot in response by two civilian Fort Hood police officers.

His trial has been dragging for long over this or that, including to a large extent, over his beard.

In fact, a greater part of 2012 was spent with attorneys on both sides arguing whether Hasan should be allowed to keep his beard or not. Hasan maintains his beard is a sign of his faith, however, the previous judge in the court martial had repeatedly held him in contempt of court and refused to preside over the proceedings.

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Ultimately, an appeals court ruled that whether Hasan kept a beard or not were concerns of the post commander and not of the trial judge. The appeals court also removed an order by the trial judge to have Hasan forcibly shaved.

A new judge has been assigned to the matter, who has not yet made any questions regarding the beard – which Hasan is known to dye with berries from his morning breakfast.

Hasan, who is currently on full salary and paralyzed from the chest down, is also known to have made a request through his lawyer for a media analyst to substantiate a claim that he has been a victim of unfair media coverage.

According to the written agenda of a pre-trial hearing fixed on Wednesday, the removal of the death penalty may be considered, giving rise to hopes that Hasan might make a guilty plea and bring the trial to an end. At least, that is how some people are inclined to think.

However, records show that the United States has refrained from executing anyone under the Uniform Code of Military Justice since 1961.

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