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HOW DOES A COURT-MARTIAL DIFFER FROM A CIVILIAN CRIMINAL TRIAL?
The judge, the prosecutors and the attorneys standing by to help Hasan are military officers, as are the 13 jurors, who range in rank from colonel to major. If jurors unanimously find Hasan guilty of premeditated murder, the case will quickly proceed to a capital sentencing hearing, where prosecutors will try to prove one or more aggravating factors that merit a death sentence. One aggravating factor would be the killing of more than one person in a single event. Jurors must be unanimous to sentence him to death. The military courts system also does not have hung juries: If one of the 13 jurors votes Hasan not guilty of murder, he would be declared not guilty.
WHAT HAPPENS IF HE is found guilty and SENTENCED TO DEATH?
The death sentence would need to be affirmed by Fort Hood’s convening authority, which would prompt automatic appeals at two military courts for the Army and then the armed forces. If those fail, Hasan could ask the Supreme Court to review his case and file motions in federal court. The president must approve a military death sentence. Many death row inmates have had their sentences overturned on appeal, and no active-duty soldier has been executed in the military system since 1961.