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Prosecutor on Fort Hood gunman death sentence: 'He can never be a martyr'

Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist that killed 13 people in 2009, was sentenced to death Wednesday.

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com
Prosecutor on Fort Hood gunman death sentence: 'He can never be a martyr'
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, is shown in a 2000 file photo from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Hasan was found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder stemming from the killings at Ft. Hood and was given the death penalty Wednesday. UPI | License Photo

After only two hours of deliberation, a military jury sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death.

Hasan was an Army psychiatrist that in 2009 killed 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood. MOre than 30 were wounded in the shooting.

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He offered little defense and sat motionless as the jury read the verdict. Hasan said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression.

He never denied being the Fort Hood gunman. In opening statements, Hasan acknowledged that he pulled the trigger in a crowded waiting room where troops were getting final checkups before deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Hasan declined the opportunity to give a closing argument before the case went to the jury.

The jury also ruled that the Hasan would forfeit all pay and allowances and be dismissed from the Army.

Suspicion has arisen over Hasan's behavior over whether his ultimate goal is martyrdom in the form of a death sentence to honor his "jihad duty."

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But lead prosecutor Mike Mulligan said that even with a death sentence, Hasan cannot achieve martyrdom.

"You cannot offer what you don't own; you cannot give away what is not yours. He can never be a martyr because he has nothing to give.

"Do not be misled; do not be confused; do not be fooled. He is not giving his life. We are taking his life. This is not his gift to God, it's his debt to society. He will not now and will not ever be a martyr. He is a criminal, a cold-blooded murderer.
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"On 5 November he did not leave this earth, he remained to pay a price. To pay a debt. The debt he owes is his life," Mulligan said.

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