What's Next for Hasan? - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

What's Next for Hasan?

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(KCEN) -- One day after being found guilty on all 45-counts the focus turns to the sentencing phase in the trial of Major Nidal Hasan.

But even if there is a death sentence, the military appeal process could potentially overturn the ruling.

It took just five hours for jurors to agree on Army Psychiatrist Nidal Hasan's guilt but even if sentenced to death it will trigger the military's automatic appeals process; a process known for overturning cases.

According to Military Law Expert Brad Glendening, "The majority of the time, they're reversed on appeal sometimes those reversals mean, just new trials, sometimes they mean reductions of sentences, sometimes they mean acquittals."

"It's very difficult to get a capital murder conviction through the military appellate courts, they ten d to be extremely demanding," said Retired Army Jag Officer Geoffrey Corn.

The last service member the military actual put to death was in 1961.

Many cases are overturned for insufficient counsel but when Hasan chose to represent himself, he forfeited that avenue.

Some say the real issue is that the judge stripped him of his only defense that he was protecting the Taliban.

He wants to raise a defense that by all accounts is ludicrous, but he should still be able to raise it by matter of law and the judge has said as a matter of law, you're not going to be able to raise it.

Leaving him to remain silent both in his defense and in closing arguments.

But others agree with the judge and the prosecution, it had no merits as a defense.

If Colonel Mulligan achieves a conviction that's set aside on appeal, that's not a victory, that's a failure, so I think that he has been cognoscente of the intensity of scrutiny that the military appellate courts apply to capital murder records from day one.

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