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Delay for Decision on Hasan Trial Delay Request

Bell County Sheriff's Office

We know more about how the accused Fort Hood shooter plans to defend himself at his court martial, but it’s not enough information for the judge.

And that is delaying jury selection.

Major Nidal Hasan says he will make the case that he opened fire on soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009 because they were being deployed to Afghanistan, where he says they would be a threat to the Islamic Emirate and leaders of the Taliban.

He’s asking for three months to prepare this “defense of others” argument.

Eugene Fidell teaches military justice at Yale Law School.

He calls Hasan's argument "a ploy that you would undertake if you had no other cards in your hand."

“He’s living in an alternative universe," Fidell says. "The ‘defense of others’ will get absolutely nowhere in this case. It’s a defense that people have tried to advance every once in a while in the military justice system. They never get traction on it."

Major Hasan is charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 of attempted murder.

The judge, Colonel Tara Osborne, is delaying a ruling on Hasan’s request for more time to prepare his defense, telling him that she wants to see evidence to support his argument.

She’s giving Hasan until noon Wednesday, the day when jury selection had been scheduled to begin, now delayed until Monday at the earliest.

And that is if the judge denies Hasan’s request for more time.

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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