WASHINGTON (CNS) — Archbishop Timothy M. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services said he opposes capital punishment for Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who was sentenced to death Aug. 28 following his conviction of the shootings in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.
“The church teaches that unjustified killing is wrong in all circumstances. That includes the death penalty,” Archbishop Broglio said in an Aug. 29 statement.
“Maj. Hasan and his victims are all entitled to justice,” the archbishop added. “Maj. Hasan, at least, now has recourse to a scrupulous appeals process. Would that his victims have received as much fairness.”
The jury at a military court-martial convicted Hasan of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in connection with the massacre, which a U.S. Senate report later called “the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.”
Hasan was himself wounded in a gun battle with Army civilian police when he followed a wounded victim outside. Hasan was shot in the spine and has had to use a wheelchair ever since.
According to documents obtained and published by the New York Times, Hasan told medical health experts in 2010 that he “would still be a martyr” even if he was convicted and executed.
Hasan, who received permission to act as his own attorney, questioned only three of the witnesses called during the court-martial, introduced no defense witnesses and gave no closing argument. At the penalty phase of the trial, he cross-examined none of the 24 witnesses called. In addition to the death sentence, the jury recommended that Hasan also be stripped of his pay and dismissed from the Army.
When the trial started Aug. 6, Hasan said in his opening statement that he was the gunman, adding the evidence would show he was the shooter. He also told the hearing that he had “switched sides” and considered himself a “mujahideen” waging “jihad” against the United States.
He had last year offered twice to plead guilty to the charges, but Army rules forbid the entry of a guilty plea in a death-penalty case.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103