Major Hasan’s pretrial confinement hearing

The man accused of the Fort Hood shooting rampage is facing tighter restrictions on his communication with the world outside the hospital room, where he lies paralyzed from the chest down, his lawyer said Monday.

The lawyer, John P. Galligan, said Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan fell asleep during an hour-long hearing held at his hospital bed on Saturday, during which a military magistrate ruled that the suspect should be placed in pretrial confinement. That is a legal status that essentially turns his hospital room, at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, into a jail cell.

He added that he is concerned the Army plans to move Maj. Hasan to Bell County jail here, which is under contract with Fort Hood to serve as a brig, when house-arrest might be more appropriate.

If he fell asleep, was he competent to participate in his pretrial confinement hearing?  Why didn’t someone wake him?  Also, I suspect Mr. Gilligan meant and referred to restriction.  In this case the request might not be that inappropriate if the sole goal of PTC is to prevent the accused fleeing or committing additional misconduct.  Balanced against this will be the firestorm and outcry if the military magistrate did concur with Mr. Gilligan’s request and place Major Hasan into pretrial restriction, to say the hospital and its grounds.  R.C.M. 304 and 305 covers this situation.

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Major Nidal Malik Hasan is apparently permanently paralyzed thus he is unable to flee and/or unable to commit additional similar misconduct?  It is not clear what his current medical needs are and whether they can be served in the local civilian jail.

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The Wall Street Journal reports.