Fort Hood shooter in court for pre-trial hearing
Former JAG Jeffery King breaks down case
- Duration 4:30
- Date Jun 8, 2012
Former JAG Jeffery King breaks down case
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And charged with thirteen counts of murder in the Fort Hood shooting Rampage expected in court today.
In a pretrial hearing that could start any minute now a military judge will consider a defense motion for -- urologists to examine major Nadal Hasan at the government's expense.
The army psychiatrist is facing the death penalty if convicted of murdering thirteen people in November 2009.
Dozens more were wounded in the Rampage that shocked the nation and raised concerns about homegrown terror even within our own military.
-- is expected to go on trial in August in a case that could hinge on his mental health.
Former jag Jeffrey king joins us now from Dallas.
Jeffrey we hear that in civilian court and insanity defense rarely works what about in military court courts martial.
Let the same kind of thing it if it works but in a different way.
In order to find that major Hasan was at all just not responsible for his misconduct back 2009.
Well that's a huge hurdle words -- gonna become extremely relevant is in the sentencing -- assuming he is convicted.
The defense -- -- put on a huge mitigation case essentially try to save his life.
And so in that sense it's going to be incredibly.
Relevant and I think quite frankly it will work in that sense what what about this request.
By his defense team for a government urologist.
To examining and what's that going to do what's it gonna provide.
-- it all depends.
Clearly was denied when they request it from the government to have that experts another before the course of the military judge is going to really answer two questions.
The first is is this expert relevant and necessary in other words what is he going to say and what would accomplish.
It'll be pretty easy for an answer those questions because as you said this does hinge on.
The mental health majors not so the real question is going to be.
Does the government have an adequate substitute -- can be between two experts the government's expert.
We'll be in military neurologists who costs no money to the government and help put his resonate for a big defense's expert.
And the judge who make up his mind -- it's gonna really come down of the qualifications of the expert.
And whether or not the government's expert is an adequate substitute.
Hit he could face of the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty.
If you -- his defense lawyer I mean would you guess that they are looking for anything they can.
Just to try to prevent in the imposition of the death penalty here.
Yes well they've already done.
A lot to try to do that -- the community according before they even referred charges they went to the post commander in try to convince him.
I'm not to refer this case as a death penalty case.
Because that's kind of what started this whole thing off so now.
The -- company is definitely on the table if he's convicted.
The jury's going to have to decide whether or not they're gonna put this man to death that so it.
Yet they're gonna put everything they had into saving his life and they're gonna think about that here in the case in chief and in sentencing out.
There are so many I don't have to tell you so many members of our military so many military families and families of his victims both living and dead who are so disgusted.
With the slow pace of this thing.
Originally the trial was supposed to start last march and his own defense team.
Has delayed it a couple of times how much longer can they keep pushing this thing back would you expect it really will go to trial in August.
Well I think frankly a lot of that probably depends on what happens today.
August 20 as I understand as the trial -- when that it's set to go and I believe -- request an October date and the judges decided on August so I think he intends to go to -- and obvious being the military judge.
Once the expert is approved.
Today that expert who.
Because he hasn't been paid hasn't looked at any documentary evidence he probably has not interviewed major Hasan and actually provide an evaluation of the defense team.
So all that has to take place after today.
The question becomes will there be enough time where that doctor to help the defense prepare for the case that is set to begin August.
If they don't think there's enough time in -- -- another continued its.
If they do -- they want in this thing gets started on August 20 so.
I think it's likely it'll start on August 20 to answer your question but a lot of it hinges on what happens today well I think a lot of military people certainly hope that they finally get this trial underway.
Jeffrey king a former military Jack thank you.