Sane or insane, Major Hasan’s mental state before and during his alleged offenses will be raised in his court-martial. Death penalty cases are different so sayeth they U.S. Supreme Court. Everything must be raised that could possibly have some impact on either the finding of guilt to a capital charge or in sentencing. The Supreme Court decision in Porter v. McCollum makes it clear that failure to raise mental health issues, including PTSD, will likely lead to a finding of ineffective assistance of counsel. A distinction can be argued between Porter and Hasan — one was in combat, the other about to get into vicarious PTSD issues. But any competent attorney for Major Hasan has to consider the mental health issues as vital to the defense presentation.
Been gone for a family emergency so I won’t go too far back. But . . .
Thirty-two specifications of attempted premeditated murder were preferred today against alleged Fort Hood, Texas, shooter Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan under Article 80 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
This makes sense. Normally loading up the charge sheet doesn’t help case efficiency, especially with minor offenses added to the more serious. Here however we have significant charges and all goes toward supporting a capital referral.
Today’s trip to Fort Hood was important to starting the review, Clark, a former chief of naval operations, said.
“It was important to me to see the site, walk the ground and really see the setting,” he said. “Today’s activities have been immensely valuable in providing the baseline of factual information upon which we will grow the rest of the information that is required to conduct the assessment.”
Question, assuming that witnesses or others involved in the case talked with the investigators, are their statements discoverable?