What to Expect as Hasan's Trial Draws to Close

Posted at 11:37 PM, Aug 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-28 00:37:33-04

Wednesday morning the military panel that decides Nidal Hasan's fate will get its instructions from Judge Col. Tara Osborn. Then prosecutors will give their closing argument trying to convince them to send Hasan to death row, and the Army psychiatrist will have the same opportunity to argue for a life sentence.  It's likely he will pass on saying anything.

News Channel 25 military law expert Steve Walden from the Carlson Law Firm thinks the jury could make a quick decision.

"I believe prosecutors have laid out a very well orchestrated case showing there are aggravated circumstances," Walden said.  "They should be able to get a finding for the death penalty tomorrow."

Hasan has wanted that all along so he could achieve martyrdom, but others would rather see him get a life sentence and suffer in prison.

Walden doesn't think the jury of 13 officers will consider Hasan's wishes.

"They're going to be instructed to only consider the evidence that's in front of them, and pick the appropriate punishment.  In otherwords, according to the facts," Walden explained.

"Based on the evidence they've seen, what would be the appropriate punishment for the individual and place aside any ideals about amrtyrism," he added.

The jury will take only one vote, and all jurors must select the death penalty for Hasan to be sent to death row.  If just one panelist picks life in prison, that will be the sentence.

We should find out Wednesday.