Cowardly judge in Nidal Hasan trial bars prosecutors from brining up murderer's jihad motives
Lawyers representing the family members of those killed and injured in the Ft. Hood shooting rampage were outraged today when an Army judge limited prosecutors from introducing evidence, including emails to a known Al Qaeda operative, that would establish accused shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan's "jihadi" motives.I'm not sure why they think the data is too old. It may not undermine the prosecution since Hasan admitted his crimes. Even so, this is an insult to the families of the victims and the judge owes them an apology.
The judge's rulings could inhibit the ability of the victims' families to claim in a civil suit that the shootings were an act of terror. Federal lawyers involved in the civil suit claim that the people shot during Hasan's murderous rage were victims of workplace violence, a designation that could sharply limit the damages in a civil suit.
"This is first degree mass murder case and motive is absolutely relevant to prove premeditation," said Neal Sher, a lawyer representing many of the victims and their family members in a separate civil suit against the government. [...]
The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled today that prosecutors could not mention Hasan’s correspondence with Alwaki, an American born al Qaeda recruiter and organizer. Osborn also barred prosecutors from mentioning Hassan’s interest in seeking conscientious objector status and drawing parallels to a 2003 incident in which another Muslim American soldier attacked U.S. troops in Kuwait, according to the Associated Press.
The judge found much of that evidence was too old, but permitted prosecutors to introduce evidence about Hasan’s internet usage and search history from the time of the attack.
Interestingly, Hasan has now rested his side without bringing in any witnesses (also via Hot Air). No surprise. Who was he going to call? Who would even speak in his defense? The only possible problem is that he's undoubtably hoping to become a martyr, or, he hopes the assumption he wants to be will allow him to escape the death sentence, which cannot be allowed to happen.
Update: Hasan has declined a chance to defend himself in closing remarks:
"The defence chooses not to make a closing statement," Nidal Hasan told the judge – ending a speedy trial in which insisted on representing himself but offered little defence.Exactly. I would recommend they execute him in the worst way possible: slowly, by using knives and machine guns on his arms, then shooting out his brain tissue.
Prosecutors laid out a detailed road map of their case during their closing argument, saying there was no question that Hasan planned and carried out the attack.
"The facts I laid out to you give you only one option," the prosecutor, Col. Steve Henricks, told jurors. "The accused without a doubt – without any doubt at all – had a premeditated design to kill."