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Fort Hood shooter sentenced to death

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-29 05:26

HOUSTON - A US military court Wednesday sentenced to death the Fort Hood shooter who killed 13 and injured more than 30 others at the Texas Army base in 2009, US media reported.

The same jury who convicted Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan last Friday reached the unanimous verdict to put Hasan on death row after several hours of deliberations on Wednesday, the real- time report of the Houston Chronicle said.

The 42-year-old America-born Muslim who has been acting as his own attorney presented no witnesses or evidence during the sentencing phase of his trial which began Monday. And he declined to give a closing argument Wednesday.

When the verdict was read hours later he had no visible reaction, merely staring at the jurors and the judge, the report said.

Hasan was found guilty on 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder, crimes he carried out in a crowded waiting room in the Fort Hood base against unarmed fellow soldiers.

The shooting is the severest of its kind in the history of US military. Hasan said the motive of his killing was to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from America who "is at war with Islam."

Hasan never denied he is the shooter during the trial and appeared to crave for a death sentence that he alleged could make him "a martyr" for his religion, which was dismissed by the US media and authorities.

US officials said Hasan will be taken back to a county jail and then transported on the first available military flight to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.  

Death sentences are rare in the US military. No American soldier has been executed since 1961. Hasan could become the first American soldier executed in more than half a century. But because the military justice system requires a lengthy appeals process, years or even decades could pass before he is put to death, according to the report.

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