Remember the Fort Hood massacre? It occurred in early November of 2009, when Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people on a military base.
Three and half years later, the military still has not tried Hasan. Not that a trial of his guilt or innocence is necessary. Hasan asked, through his attorney, to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder. However, Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea to charges that carry the death penalty.
Hasan then tried to plead guilty to 13 counts of unpremeditated murder. No dice. The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled that Hasan cannot plead guilty to those lesser charges, or to 32 additional counts of attempted premeditated murder, because these pleas could be used against him in the trial of the premeditated murder counts.
These outcomes are absurd. As Bill Otis explains:
Yes, we want to be sure before we execute — sure we have the right guy, and sure that the ultimate punishment is warranted in all the circumstances. But we already know we have the right guy, and the circumstances will be thoroughly examined at the penalty phase in any event. There is no such thing as a mandatory death penalty in American law.
Clearly, the left’s march through our institutions did not spare the military justice system. But we already knew this, thanks to the JAGs hijacking of U.S. anti-terrorism policy.
Bill Otis concludes:
[O]ur country has become so tentative, so defensive, so morally obtuse and frankly so silly that we have litigated to the hilt whether Maj. Hasan can keep his beard, but are flatly unwilling to accept his legal admission that he killed 13 people, an admission the entire planet knows is true. This is going on four years after the event, mind you, in which any mental problems (other than hate) the good Major might have could have been thoroughly examined.