A military panel has sentenced Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to death, making him the first active American soldier to be executed by the military since 1961. On Aug. 23, Hasan was found guilty of opening fire on Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center on Nov. 5, 2009, killing 13 and injuring 32. Under military law, a unanimous verdict must take place to keep the death penalty as an option.
Deliberation began at 12 p.m. Wednesday afternoon after Hasan, who chose to represent himself, declined to make a closing statement in the sentencing phase of his trial. Three hours later, the panel returned with the death sentence.
In his closing statement Wednesday morning, prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan decried Hasan's supposed religious motivations for committing the attack. "He is not giving his life. We are taking his life. It is not his gift to God. It is his death," Mulligan said. "He will not now and he never will be a martyr. He is a criminal. He is a cold-blooded murderer." The lawyers appointed for Hassan before he chose to represent himself have said throughout the trial that they believed Hasan was trying to secure a death sentence for himself.