According to numerous reports, including the NYT here, the Army has charged Maj. Hasan with 13 counts of premeditated murder for the shootings at Ft. Hood last week.  The news came in an interview with Army CID investigators.  As soon as we have the charge sheet we’ll post it.

Update 1:  Here is the official Ft. Hood press rlease.

Update 2:  Here is the transcript of the CID press conference on the charges.  Still no charge sheet.

24 Responses to “Maj. Hasan Charged with 13 Counts of Pre-Med Murder”

  1. Some Army Guy says:

    Do we really want CID being the public face of this court-martial, putting out the news releases on the military justice actions?

    That’s not giving the public an accurate depiction of the military justice system, imho.

  2. Ama Goste says:

    While we’re criticizing, could someone please correct all the media who keep using 9 as the number of individuals with military death sentences? The correct number is 5 who are currently under death sentences.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In fairness, they could have got that number from someone who was in the military (and incorrect).

  4. Anonymous says:

    In addition to agreeing with SAG above, is there no leadership in the Fort Hood JAG office? How in the hell can you read charges to someone [hospitalized or not] in an almost slam-dunk case, without insuring that at least one of his counsel are present?

    Whether or not it’s legally or ethically mandated, is not the issue. The “issue” is why are they creating the issue? This just gives the defense another line of attack on the “process.”

    And, why not charge him with X Specs of attempted murder, Conduct unbecoming, and however many Art 92, reg violations that must exist…. The unfinished CID investigation has nothing to do with any of that, but just is more fodder for the defense, appellate defense and post-conviction defense to jump on for YEARS to come. It’s time to bring the Varsity JAG team in for this!!

    As an aside, it’s very strange to me that the media has not picked up on the fact that a good number of the dead [no idea about the wounded since they’re hiding behind HIPAA], were members of Hasan’s own unit, the “Combat Stress Team!”

  5. CPT Rob M says:

    Where did you hear charges were read to him without his attorney present? That would be an interesting tidbit, but I didn’t see any reference to that in any of the articles I’ve read thus far.

  6. Anonymous says:

    While we’re criticizing, I think one of the worst media perceptions is that nobody has been executed in xx years is because the military “doesn’t have the stomach for it.” – i have heard many commentators speak to that effect, which is unfair.

    The military hasn’t executed someone in so many decades because we have a process that we take seriously, and though we have the stomach to execute, we’re not going to do it until the interests of justice are met.

    Interesting side note on that article about the charging decision regarding the unborn child. This tragedy has no shortage of controversial side issues.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why bring charges now?

    Why not wait until everything is ready? There’s no rush.

    If you think that somehow his being in the hospital under guard counts as confinement you can give him his PTC review and whatnot but why rush through the charges?

    I’d also bet dollars to donuts Ring/Apprendi has already been violated with the charge sheet.

  8. Phil Cave says:

    Most of the reporting came from a CID news conference, which means we need to see it in writing. The PAO release uses “includes.”
    But I think this is political.
    Anon 1901, I’m not sure the current medical condition means he’s in PTC. Seems to me he’s not medically well for release and into PTC. But I agree with you that the could act out of an abundance of caution. But, how to deal with his drugged mental state and ability to cooperate in a PTC IRO hearing? If he wasn’t in PTC, and they did prefer, then they’ve started a 707 clock. But (gosh, so many butts), I don’t see these charges being dumped because they waited until he was medically fit.

  9. John Harwood says:

    Why would it be weird to read charges to someone without their attorney present? In the AF, I’ve never seen a DC present when an ACC has charges preferred. Never.

    Also, agree on the rush to prefer – this is clearly the Army trying to make sure they keep jurisdiction rather than letting DOJ get its hooks into the case. I’m sure the Army brass are fighting like mad to ensure they keep jurisdiction.

  10. Gordon Smith says:

    Why is the New York Times relying on a public web site (the Death Penalty Information Center) for information on military capital cases (and incorrect information at that)?

  11. Phil Cave says:

    And John, in the Navy, MC, Army also.

  12. Christopher Mathews says:

    Echoing John and Phil, above: none of the murder cases I was involved with in my active duty days featured defense counsel present at preferral.

  13. Phil Cave says:

    John P. Galligan, the retired colonel hired to defend Maj. Hasan, said he believed an officer delivered a charge sheet to the major Thursday at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where he is being held under guard. But Mr Galligan couldn’t provide details, saying he wasn’t there, hadn’t been notified in advance and still hadn’t seen the charges as of late Thursday afternoon. He learned about the charges from a news conference the Army held Thursday that was broadcast on TV.

    “I feel blindsided,” Mr. Galligan said. “Had I known, I certainly would have been down there.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125804778767245615.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who knows the MJ system knows that the accused does not have the “right” to have his/her attorney present during reading of the charges. While it would have been polite to give Hasan’s attorneys a heads-up, it is certainly not required. Furthermore, what’s to say that Hasan is actually in a drugged-up state? Stop assuming he’s too drugged to understand what’s going on.

    Also, I don’t think there has been a “rush” to prefer. If I was the DC, I would be arguing that, at the very least, Hasan is under arrest, which triggers not only the RCM 707 speedy trial clock, but also the Article 10 “due diligence” clock. It makes sense to prefer charges on the obvious offenses, and prefer additional charges later (like death of an unborn child, attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, violation of reg for bringing unregistered firearm on post). Otherwise the defense will complain about the gov’t dragging its heels.

    The gov’t isn’t charging now to “preserve jurisdiction”–it’s preferring now to fend off an Article 10 complaint.

  15. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Anonymous: I’d also bet dollars to donuts Ring/Apprendi has already been violated with the charge sheet.

    Anon 7:01 pm, I am intrigued. How do you think the charge sheet might have already violated Ring/Apprendi?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m not gonna say since I don’t want to have an affect one way or the other (i.e. someone from the government reads all of this and fixes things).

    But I do think they are going to do it just like any other case, if that makes it clearer.

  17. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Anon 10:37 pm: I am all for defense counsel letting issues fester in the record, because that their job. But, if the government can get it right the first time and guarantee someone’s rights up front, why not say something?

    In any event, I think if any of these counsel have gone to an Army JAG School Crim law update they’ve seen all the potential issues with Ring/Apprendi–while the instructors have erroneously attributed the development of these issues to our fair leader, they have identified most of the issues.

    As for the charge sheet, the final one that goes to the Art. 32 IO should set forth all of the aggravating factors the government intends to prove. The IO should be reuqired to make recommendations on them and the CA should have to refer them just like any other element of any offense. We’ll see if that all actually happens.

    V/r
    R.K.

  18. RY says:

    On the Article 10/speedy trial note, considering that Hasan is under guard, it would seem that the clock may already be ticking. Has anyone run across such a scenario before where client was under guard in hospital? I’m curious if there is precedent that this sufficiently triggers RCM 707 or Article 10. I know defense counsel will argue it does but I suspect Hasan may not be free to leave/be released from the hospital even if no guards were present based on his injuries/medical condition.

    Similarly, anyone had to deal with a PTC hearing while client was still hospitalized?

  19. Some Army Guy says:

    Anon 2237: If Hasan isn’t your client, what kind of duty (or motive) do you have in trying to hide important issues just so the prosecutors don’t find out?

  20. Cossio says:

    This just in, it Appears Hasan may be paralized (big shock there):

    Analysis:Obama’s hesitancy on war buildup sends messages
    ..Lawyer: Accused Fort Hood gunman may be paralyzed

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091113/ap_on_re_us/us_fort_hood_shooting

    His Defense Counsel is filing Motions for another Detailed Military Lawyer and a Civilian Investigator.

  21. Cheap Seats says:

    As for the 707/Article 10, Mr. Galligan previously reported that the accused is in pre-trial restriction and that his pass/leave privileges have been revoked. If the accused signs out (AMA) and wants to leave and is not allowed, then at least the 707 clock (and probably the article 10 clock)would have started anyway. Preferral was the right course of action under a C-M system. As with any military capital case, the Army needs to call in some of our great reserves with capital experience to serve on the prosecution and defense. Getting this case right is too important.

  22. MJW1 says:

    RY,

    Does it matter if he is under armed-guard for his own protection?

    Although I suspect, per Cheap Seats, that the imposition of some form of restraint has occurred, despite the fact that he may not possess the ability to actually move much.

  23. RY says:

    I wonder if he has really had his leave/pass privileges revoked or if it’s just a result of being on admin hold? Certainly, the net effect is the same and I suspect his defense attorney would call it pretrial restriction either way. Indicentally, if he can’t leave the hospital anytime soon for medical purposes, leave/pass privileges are really a moot issue.

    MJW1, I do think guards for his own protection could be a valid argument. It would help if Ft Hood had documented threats to point to showing a basis for that belief, but there is certainly a colorable argument that he may need protection even without threats.

  24. Balkan Ghost says:

    I think the issue of whether he is in PTC is a minor one that should not be of too much concern to the sharp legal minds who read this website. This case will have many delays. The government will not be dilatory. Ten extra days of confinement credit will mean nothing.

    Most pressing, now that Hasan is conscious, is the need to identify and put service-provider holds on all his account information for e-mail, social networking, banking, travel, and telephone. The government should also be the first to talk to those closest to Hasan, not Hasan himself to spread a defense theory to his witnesses. He should be able to meet with his attorney, but should have no access to telephones or the internet. If this gets him confinement credit, so be it.

    I believe the biggest incentive for government to offer a life deal after a capital referral will be this cases link to terror, and Hasan’s potential cooperation.