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Judge Rules Major Hasan May Represent Himself in Fort Hood Trial – Update: Will use “defense of others” argument

Judge Rules Major Hasan May Represent Himself in Fort Hood Trial – Update: Will use “defense of others” argument

The alleged Fort Hood shooter will be representing himself in court, despite repeated warnings about the disadvantages of doing so from the military judge who issued the ruling today.

From the Associated Press:

The Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage will represent himself at his upcoming murder trial, meaning he will question the more than two dozen soldiers he’s accused of wounding, a military judge ruled Monday. […]

After questioning Hasan for about an hour, the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled that Hasan was mentally competent to represent himself and understands “the disadvantage of self-representation.” She repeatedly urged him to reconsider his request, noting that the lead prosecutor has more than 20 years of experience and that Hasan will be held to the same standards as all attorneys regarding courtroom rules and military law.

“You’ve made that quite clear,” Hasan said after the judge asked if he understood that representing himself was not “a good idea.”

While Maj. Nidal Hasan wanted one of his attorneys kicked off the case, the judge said that all three will remain available to him only if he asks for help.  Two will sit with him at the defense table.  Hasan fired his civilian attorneys two years ago and has since been represented by military attorneys.

This decision now allows Hasan to question the very victims he stands accused of having wounded.

Hasan is charged on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder, for which he faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

The judge spent an hour questioning Hasan about his perceived ability to represent himself, making sure that he fully understood the undertaking.

From the LA Times:

“How are you, with no formal legal training or education, going to know what to do when the other side has that level of education?” Osborn said.

“I’m going to do the best I can do,” Hasan replied, his voice calm.

Osborn also questioned how Hasan would be able to write and type enough to defend himself. He said he had a lot of experience typing and could compensate for his injured hand.

“You would be better off with a trained lawyer who would know the rules of court-martial, the rules of evidence, the rules of law,” she said, offering Hasan the option of seeking other lawyers. He declined.

At one point, the judge asked Hasan to list the charges against him, and he faltered, conferring with his lead military attorney before responding.

“If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to what, what is the maximum punishment in this case?” Osborn said.

“Death,” Hasan murmured.

The judge also warned Hasan that he would not be permitted to make statements instead of cross-examining witnesses or himself, threatening to revoke his pro se status if he did so.

Some may remember another famous defendant who represented himself in court.  It didn’t turn out too well for him.

UPDATE 6/3 4:00pm EST:  The AP reports now that Hasan has indicated he will use a “defense of others” argument in his  defense when representing himself.



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The next, obvious decision by this LEFTIST SCUMBAG excuse for a “judge” : require that the trial be held in accordance with SHARIA LAW – not US law.

    Valerie in reply to MicahStone. | June 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    A criminal defendant has the right to fire his attorneys, and to represent himself. The judge does not have to be either a leftist or a scumbag to recognize this point of American law.

    Major Hasan wants a circus, and he will get a circus. The judge and lawyers will bend over backward to safeguard his rights, and he will probably do a lot of ranting.

    But, the prosecution will put on its case, and if the press reports are reasonably factual, he will be found to have committed the acts. The only question is whether he has an insanity defense. The judge has just found him competent to represent himself, so I’d surmise that ruling puts an end to that particular defense.

    raven in reply to MicahStone. | June 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    It’s coming. Maybe not in this case, but soon.

Henry Hawkins | June 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Represent yourself. Fine by me. Then you can execute yourself right after you impregnate yourself.

That’s what I like to call “appeal bait”.

this isn’t law and order or a civilian jury and sentencing setup.
he wants to martyr himself.

Great. Now we’ll have a circus trial, and Hasan will get to re-injure the victims who survived the first round of his violent jihad by torturing them on the stand with his stupid questions. Then, after he’s convicted, we’ll get to finance years of appeals based on his claim that he was clearly insane and should not have been allowed to represent himself at trial.

It is misguided to rant against the judge.

The real travesty here is that Hasan is being tried as if he were some disgruntled worker who brought a gun to the office. He isn’t, and never was. He is an enemy combatant in the war they declared on us who donned our uniform as an undercover agent.

He may not have been planning the massacre from the beginning, but he was planning some form of subversion or sabotage.

It’s Obama and his inability to see any evil in islam who is at fault here, not the judge.

    ThomasD in reply to Estragon. | June 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Exactly. He is not interested in mounting any sort of honest legal defense – not within a system he deems the enemy.

    This is an enemy soldier going on the offense the only way he is able.

    My only hope is that the judge recognizes this and is merely supplying just enough rope for his hanging.

The ‘religious’ man that he is, Hasan will claim the act was force majeure and outside of his control.

Henry Hawkins | June 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I guess Colin Ferguson wasn’t available to handle his defense.

This Colin Ferguson:

Not this one:

Estragon nailed it: Hasan is an undercover enemy combatant, not a civilian criminal.

However, its time we realized that Obama knows exactly what he’s doing, and should also be considered an enemy agent.

I don’t understand, why THIS islamic rageboy is still alive.

Henry Hawkins | June 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Obama knows full well the dangerousness and evil of Islamic terrorists. He probably admires their verve and energy in pursuing their cause. What is a terrorist but the ultimate community organizer? Obama disagrees on how to counter them, believing it can be done politically with speeches on western (American) contrition, by appeasement on all the lesser issues, by swooning before CAIR’s every request, by dissing hated Israel, and by waging only surgical, console war via drones and secret operations. And look how well it’s working out after five years.

Sure, we take an occasional unnecessary hit, but we can afford to lose an ambassador or two every now and again. I mean, c’mon, who really ever heard of Christopher Stevens before Benghazi? I mean besides his family and friends. C’mon.

Obama = Chamberlain on Crystal Meth

The defendant has the right to counsel of his choice, correct? If he’s really dumb enough to want to run his own defense, especially that defense, in front of a general court-martial with his life on the line, there’s a certain point at which the only thing the judge can say is “it’s your funeral”.

There is no evidence that Major Hasan is or was anything but a young officer radicalized by contact with one of the many mosques/teaching centers around the nation which our willfully blind government permit to operate. There isn’t any evidence that he was or is some sort of “sleeper” agent, activated suddenly just for the purpose of clumsily killing and wounding several dozen of his fellow soldiers.

As far as self-representation is concerned, he is entitled to represent himself if, in the judge’s opinion, he is mentally competent (not professionally competent) to do so. It is certain to make the trial longer, highly likely to make their testimony more difficult and painful to the witnesses, and nearly certain to produce a death sentence at the end. “A man who is his own attorney has a fool both as a client and as an attorney.”

The legal system in the military is less byzantine than is the civilian criminal system, which makes the apparent contradictions and idiocies of any such system more obvious, but it is and has been for a number of years fairer. Another point to bear in mind is that the military justice system does not have justice as its goal. Rather, its purpose is the maintenance of good order and discipline in the armed forces. Of my 24 years in the Army, 18 of them were in the JAG Corps as a paralegal and court reporter. Just to prove my lack of wisdom, I went on to be a civilian attorney practicing criminal law for ten years before finally retiring permanently.

Juba Doobai! | June 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Here’s the reason why this jihadist wants no lawyers: Allahu Akbar!

That war cry means he acknowledges nor honors no law but shariah, that he recognizes no other legal jurisdiction over him than an Islamic court’s, that he will do what he will to turn the already corrupt and pro-Islamic military tribunal n its head.

Likely, he will be acquitted because the tribunal has already demonstrated (via the dismissal of the judge who demanded Hassan shave off his jihadist beard) that military law and regulations mean nothing.

Fine. Charge him with Treason, then–if he committed the murders to defend terrorists overseas then that’s aiding and abetting the enemy.