Why Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood shooter, isn't going to paradise after all
His act was selfish and evil, and he remains unrepentant.
A military jury has recommended that Nidal Hasan, the terrorist who murdered 13 people and wounded 32 others at Fort Hood, Texas, should suffer the death penalty for his crimes. The panel reached the decision in less than two hours. An Army general must now decide to uphold the sentence.
Nidal Hasan, who was employed by the Army as a psychologist, and had attained the rank of Major, became an Al Qaeda sympathizer and after communicating with Al Qaeda leadership and researching jihad. Following those discussions, he became a terrorist.
Tragically, the Army and authorities had ample warning that he was a danger to others, but nothing was done. In hindsight, Hasan himself gave warning by making several open statements about Muslims in the Army and Islam.
In 2009, he carried out a massacre, for which he had trained. He murdered 13 (actually, 14) people, including one pregnant woman, and wounded 32 others. He was not charged with the death of the unborn child.
Hasan was shot four times during the attack but survived as a paraplegic.
Hasan represented himself during his trial and blocked all attempts by his legal advisers to strengthen his case. The judge refused his efforts to plead guilty. However, as his own defense lawyer, Hasan called no witnesses, made no statements, and utterly capitulated to the prosecution.
His sentence was announced yesterday to a quiet courtroom and there were no emotional outbursts or dramatic turns of phrase.
Now the verdict will be presented to the convening authority, an Army general, who will review the proceedings and make a final decision if the sentence should be accepted. That general has the option of reducing the sentence to life without parole. Aside from that, Hasan may die by lethal injection.
However, there is a long series of appeals possible and the death penalty could be dropped in the United States as it becomes less popular to the public. A change in the law, or a lengthy series of appeals could keep Hasan alive for a very long time.
The great tragedy of capital punishment is that it ends prematurely an opportunity for the conversion of a soul and repentance. At the same time, Hasan has shown no inclination to either and instead he remains as unremorseful as the day he carried out the heinous attacks.
Hasan will now be confined to military death row at Fort Leavenworth Military Prison. He will join five other prisoners there. Most survivors and victim's families, and likely most Americans would like to see him put to death.
Martyrdom, nor salvation does not come to those who commit acts of evil grounded in selfishness. If Hasan had wanted to attain paradise in his Islamic faith, he could have lived peacefully and faithfully. Not every Muslim seeks jihad, or terrorism, or martyrdom as a path to salvation.
Hasan should not expect paradise for his sick and twisted act of selfishness and evil.
Instead, Hasan is a man who has conducted himself selfishly and with great evil and no matter what earthly authorities do to him, God will pass the final judgment, both swift and terrible.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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