Army about to help the defense with discovery and preparation

I commented yesterday that the decision by the Homeland Security Committee could be a potential boon to defense discovery in Major Hasan’s court-martial at Fort Hood.

Homeland Security committee begins collecting discovery for the Major Hasan defense team.

It’s not clear yet, but it looks like the Army and Department of Defense might also be about to do the same.  One of the major issues that counsel have to pursue in death penalty cases at court-martial is the persons background.  Besides the potential insanity issue on the merits, it is critical to develop as much of a personal history and background as possible.  That means the defense will be requesting, and if they are smart, the government providing the expert assistance of a mitigation expert.  The committee and potential Army actions will be of potential assistance to the defense.  True, the investigations could develop something negative, but in this case that’s not something the defense needs to worry about at this stage.  The defense needs information, the prosecution will try to stop or delay them getting it, so outside help is welcome.

Stars & Stripes reports:  Fort Hood slayings prompt full Pentagon review

Washington Post reports:

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army’s chief of staff, is forming a panel to look closely at the military career of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the man accused in the Fort Hood shootings, and probe whether warning signs were missed, a senior Army official said Monday.