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Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan guilty of murder, jury to debate death penalty

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan found guilty by jury of 13 counts of murder, 32 counts of attempted murder in 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.

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Major Nidal Malik Hasan could face the death penalty in the military trial for the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, each of which will be tried as a capital offense. (U.S. Government Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Getty Images)

A jury on Friday convicted Nidal Hasan — an Army major and psychiatrist — on 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of premeditated murder. That he would be convicted in the killings was rarely in doubt in the four years since he began shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.

But 13 high-ranking military officers will return Monday to debate the issue survivors and victims’ families have waited all this time to learn: if Hasan will receive the death penalty for his crimes, the Associated Press said.

Hasan admitted to the shooting, claiming he carried it out to defend members of the Taliban from an “illegal war.” He represented himself during the court-martial and had asked for the death penalty so he could become a martyr.

Hasan, a Muslim born in Virginia, shocked the country with the mass shooting on Nov. 5, 2009.

Dressed in fatigues, he shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic) before opening fire inside a crowded waiting room where soldiers were completing medical tests before deploying overseas.

Hasan never called any witnesses in his defense proceedings, and didn’t take the stand himself.

“There is no doubt, as I said in the beginning, the accused is the shooter,” prosecutor Col. Steven Henricks told the jury, according to CNN.

“The only question for you is ... is this a premeditated design to kill?”

When the jury returns to court on Monday, it will offer recommendations to the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, Reuters reported.

The decision to kill Hasan by lethal injection is hers alone. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130823/fort-hood-shooter-nidal-hasan-guilty-murder-death-penalty