Special to WorldTribune.com
By Bill Juneau, March 31, 2023
While campaigning for President in 2020, Joe Biden promised that he would end death sentences on the federal level and that he would work to persuade states allowing for that punishment to change directions.
Under federal and military law, a President must sign off before a federally authorized execution can go forward. Death sentences in states allowing the death penalty, require a final signature and approval by the governor of the state before administering the punishment.
Could it be that Biden’s progressive thinking rubs off on his subordinates and has triggered a hold on the court ordered execution of the treasonous army Maj. Nidal Hasan who on November 5, 2009 exploded in Islamic rage during an assembly meeting at the Fort Hood, Texas installation and killed 13 fellow soldiers and one civilian and wounded 32 other persons.
It is now 14 years since the army doctor with golden oak leaves on his shoulders shouted “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for Allah is Great, and mowed down his army buddies with gunfire. It was the worst killings at a military installation in U.S. history.
He was sentenced to death at an army court martial in 2013. He declined representation of counsel, offered no defense and opted to not testify at his trial as witnesses recounted the horrible moments when the army major came unglued and shot their loved ones. In various interviews, the now 52-year old killer, who is paralyzed from the waist down, has said that he acted in accord with his Islamic beliefs, and as a way of protecting Muslims in Iraq. He portrayed himself as a dedicated “Soldier of Allah,” and asserts that he has no regrets, and would do it all again. It will be his honor, he said, to die as an Islamic “martyr” entitled to special rewards in the hereafter.
Some see the woke fingers of President Biden holding up the execution of the murderer who has no regrets and would do it again. Does the weak-kneed Biden, whose basic mental acuity is questioned by doctors who know him, figure that there was bias against Maj. Hasan because of his Islamic beliefs?
Generally, the question posed as to why the execution is taking decades, gets the answer that there are “mandatory appeals” and that the process takes time. Under President Trump, 13 federal executions were approved. There were no federal executions during the eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, and in the George W. Bush years as President, a federal defendant was put to death in 2003.
So you may ask, “what are the issues raised in the “mandatory appeals,” and who is prosecuting the matter?” Are there any briefs posted on line which may be read by citizens? The answer is that the “appeal” is an illusion as there are no discernible issues. The court ordered execution is being held up for no articulated reason; and some believe that it is the fumbling President Biden who will not sign off on the execution contending that the sentencing was connected to anti-Muslim bias.
Since 2009, the year of the Hasan assassinations of soldiers, there have been 425 executions in the USA, but none by the military. Four ex-servicemen, including Maj. Hasan, are imprisoned on death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The courts have held that the death sentence for a capital crime is constitutional.
The last military person executed was Army Private John Bennett on April 13, 1961. Convicted in 1957 of a savage rape and the attempted murder of an 11-year-old girl, the 25-year-old Bennett was put to death by hanging four years later following review and signature by President John F. Kennedy.
The need for “mandatory appeals”of death sentences makes sense and defendants must have every opportunity to offer their defense and to explain the circumstances surrounding the killing. The chance that an innocent man might be put to death must never be allowed to happen.
But “mandatory appeals” make no sense in the case of Maj. Hasan, a convicted mass murderer who has stated repeatedly he wants to be executed.
Hasan is paralyzed from the waist down from bullets to his spine inflicted by other soldiers who responded at his shooting of fellow soldiers. He is cared for daily by army nurses and doctors and employees who provide for his needs and sustenance. Reportedly, he spends much of his time reading and writing letters. He has written some notes to Pope Francis in which he praises Islamic Jihad.
He corresponded regularly with ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi in which he asked to be made a member of his organization. The terrorist granted his request in a return communication, but al-Bagdadi will not be around to applaud at Hasan’s execution, if it ever occurs. Al-Bagdadi committed suicide as Americans were preparing to apprehend him for his criminal and murderous plans to kill Americans and create a global caliphate.
Families of Dr. Hasan’s victims, and other Americans are asking when Maj. Hasan will receive the punishment ordered by the court. It is a very fair question to ask and families of the victims are not likely to forget Hasan’s hateful and cruel actions.
Bill Juneau worked for 25 years as a reporter and night city editor at the Chicago Tribune. Subsequently he became a partner in a law firm and also served as a village prosecutor and as a consultant to the Cook County Circuit Court and to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He is currently writing columns and the ‘Florida Bill‘ blog.
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