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article imageDeath penalty sought in Fort Hood case

By Matt Harding     Apr 28, 2010 in Crime
Fort Worth - Wednesday, military prosecutors sent a notice indicating they plan to seek the death penalty against the Army psychiatrist charged in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, says FOX News, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 5 shooting at Fort Hood.
Premeditated murder carries the death penalty, however, if military jurors convict Hasan, they can only sentence him to death if they determine there is an aggravating factor in the case, according to military law.
D.A. John Galligan said the notice he received from prosecutors outlines as an aggravating factor that more than one person was killed during the same incident.
"They've done everything except tell me to my face that they plan to seek the death penalty," Galligan told The Associated Press from his office near Fort Hood, about 130 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Military prosecutors have not publicly said what punishment they plan to seek; Fort Hood officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.
Although not involved in Hasan's case, military cases attorney Richard Stevens said, "The only reason to send a notice of aggravating factors is if you're trying to seek the death penalty," Stevens said.
The commanding general over Hasan's unit ultimately will determine if prosecutors can seek the death penalty, Stevens said.
Military law allows for about a dozen possible aggravating factors, yet, prosecutors only listed one in the notice to Hasan's attorney.
Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith has said Hasan will be under 24-hour watch and isolated from other inmates in a cell in the infirmary.
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