MAJ Hasan…suicide by court-martial?
Well, everyone is talking about MAJ Hasan, so I suppose it is worthy of a blog. MAJ Hasan, who was found guilty of killing 13 people (12 of whom were active duty Soldiers) and injuring over 30 people, was sentenced to death at his court-martial on August 28, 2013. The interesting spin to this case is that he chose to represent himself and essentially said nothing. Many people are saying that he did this in an effort to commit suicide by court-martial. Others are disgusted with the fact that he seems to be getting exactly what he wanted, tons of media and to die as a martyr. Some question whether he is trying to set himself up for appeal. One potential issue on appeal is whether the military judge abused her discretion when she allowed him to represent himself at his court-martial. Another potential appeal might be based on the fact that he presented no mitigation evidence during the sentencing portion of his court-martial. A week ago, I wrote a blog about a servicemember who will receive an entirely new sentencing hearing because his counsel failed to present any mitigation evidence during the sentencing portion of his court martial. So would the appellate courts apply this same logic to an appellant who represented himself? It will be interesting to watch the future of the MAJ Hasan case. Unfortunately, this is probably exactly what he was hoping for…that people would watch. If you are facing a court-martial, you need someone representing you who is apprised of current events and understands the current decisions of the military appellate courts. I feel that is part of my job. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.