Major Hasan — a new twist

The is reporting:

While Hasan recovers at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, the Army is readying itself to charge Hasan in military court, where he could face the death-penalty. But prosecutors will have to charge Hasan under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which was amended in 2004 to include “Laci and Conner’s Law” or the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA).

The UVVA requires that the justice system charge the perpetrator of a violent crime against a pregnant woman, resulting in death or bodily injury to her unborn child, with committing a separate and distinct offence against the mother’s unborn child. The law specifies that the punishment applied for the injury or death of the child must be the same – with the exception of the death penalty – as if “that injury or death occurred to the unborn child’s mother.”

This type of prosecution is not new for courts-martial, but I believe it will be first for a prosecution under Article 119a., UCMJ.  Prior to the new Article 119., several prosecutions occurred under Article 134, UCMJ.  The offense does not require that Major Hasan knew one of his victims was pregnant or that he intended to kill the “unborn child.”  A death sentence is not authorized for this individual offense, but up to LWOP is.