Jury selection was supposed to begin two weeks ago in the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan, but as has been the norm with this case, there continue to be delays. The latest issue involved Hasan's request to use a "defense of others" legal strategy to defend himself. He claimed he carried out the 2009 shooting massacre to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. On Friday, the judge rejected that defense, saying no one at Fort Hood on the day of Hasan's rampage posed an immediate threat to anyone in Afghanistan.
After electing to defend himself, then having his primary defense tossed out, Hasan appears to be running out of legal options. "He's right where he was from the beginning, he's without a defense," says Geoffrey Corn, Professor at South Texas College of Law. "There is no defense to these crimes, he committed premeditated and deliberate murder." Professor Corn also tells KTRH Hasan made a huge blunder in getting rid of his lawyers. "He'll bumble his way through the trial like most individuals do when they choose to defend themselves, and I think the outcome is inevitable," says Corn.
The outcome may be inevitable, but first there has to be a trial. Professor Corn predicts the proceedings will finally get underway sometime in July, but justice will not be swift. "My understanding is that the prosecution has about 200 witnesses, so this is going to be a long trial," he says. Many victims and their families have grown increasingly frustrated at Hasan's perceived stalling tactics that have dragged out the case for nearly four years now, but Professor Corn says it's important to do things by the book. "It doesn't matter if you're the most obviously guilty defendant on the face of the earth or not, we have a system that's designed to protect everybody."