Washington, Nov.16 (ANI): Major Nidal Hasan, the US Army psychiatrist, took just seven minutes to kill 13 people and injure more than 30 at Fort Hood in Texas earlier this month, but under the rules of military justice, his execution would require the US Supreme Court to rule on two separate appeals and for the President of the United States, the commander in chief to give his personal approval.
"He's got an array of protections which in some respects exceed those he'd get from a civilian court," said the New York Daily News quoted Yale Law School Professor and president of the National Institute of Military Justice, Eugene Fidell, as saying.
The cost to taxpayers of his incarceration and legal appeals might reach 30 million dollars, various legal analyses show.
Hasan, who is paralysed after being shot down while on the attack, has been charged in the 13 killings. The next step is an Article 32 investigation, roughly analogous to a civilian grand jury probe. If that investigation concludes there is probable cause to believe Hasan committed the murders, he will face a general court-martial.
Military legal expert Michelle McCluer, a former Air Force prosecutor and defense counsel, estimates the Article 32 investigation alone probably will extend into next year.
Hasan's military and civilian lawyers are almost certain to file requests for a change of venue, psychiatric assessment and other pretrial motions, further extending the agonizing delays.
If convicted, Hasan still would be decades away from execution by lethal injection because he can appeal his sentence to at least seven jurisdictions.
The military's Death Row is at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Nine soldiers have been sentenced to death, but one had his punishment reduced to life on appeal and three others may be resentenced.
Six of the 13 people killed at Fort Hood were laid to rest on Saturday, and services for the remaining seven will take place throughout the week.
Funeral services took place yesterday for Michael Grant Cahill, 62, who was killed in the massacre. Cahill was a physician's assistant who treated returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan and prepared others for deployment. (ANI)