Archive for Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fort Hood suspect may use insanity defense

November 24, 2009


— An Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people during an attack on his Texas post will likely plead not guilty to the charges against him and may use an insanity defense at his military trial, his attorney said Monday.

John Galligan, the civilian attorney for Maj. Nidal Hasan, said he is considering an insanity defense among other options, but that it’s too early to determine his defense strategy.

“Based on the evidence thus far, his mental status must be raised,” Galligan told The Associated Press by phone from his office near Fort Hood, about 130 miles southwest of Dallas. “Anybody who allegedly engages in conduct that is completely contradictory to his lifestyle and military career — an insanity defense has to be considered.”

Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 shooting at Fort Hood, and military officials have said they may file more charges. More than two dozen others were wounded in the shooting spree, which happened at a building where soldiers finalize their wills and are medically screened before they are deployed.

Galligan said military law requires his client to plead not guilty if prosecutors seek the death penalty, but he said that decision has not been made.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 6 months ago

I sure wouldn't want to have to prove that the guy is sane.

Monica Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Unsavoryagen, I was thinking the same thing. he obviously talked about how against the war he was. And when it's premeditated can insanity really be the defense? To premeditate something, you have to have your wits about you most of the time. Plus, he went to the building where people were finalizing their wills. . .that's gotta say something as to how "sane" he was. I am afraid if he is found insane they won't be allowed to seek the death penalty that he so greatly deserves.

Tom McCune 8 years, 6 months ago

Legally insane isn't the same thing as completely nuts.

Godot 8 years, 6 months ago

Does this mean that all persons who engage in jihad are insane?

denak 8 years, 6 months ago

"....I sure wouldn't want to have to prove that the guy is sane....."

"...All the prosecution needs to prove is that he knew right from wrong at the time of the killing spree...."

The prosecution does not need to prove his knew right from wrong nor does it have to prove he is sane.

If the defense raises a certain defense then it is the defense attorney's job to prove that his or her client was insane at the time of the crime. In other words, that at the time of the crime, the defendant did not have the mental capacity at the time to appreciate that his or her crime was wrong or did appreciate that it was wrong but was unable to control it.

Also contrary to popular belief, the insanity defense is only successful less than 1% of all times. And if Hussan is found "not guilty" that does not mean he walks free. He will be remanded to a mental hospital where he will stay until it is determined that he is no longer a threat to himself or to society. As it is, most people spend an average of three times as long in the hospital then they would have in prison.


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