Fort Hood Shooter Could Join 5 Others on Death Row

If convicted and sentenced to die, Hasan would join five others on death row.

ByABC News
November 13, 2009, 11:11 AM

Nov. 13, 2009— -- The accused Fort Hood gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan will be tried by a court martial, and prosecutors will have the option of seeking the death penalty.

If he is convicted of a capital crime, Hasan could join five other men ranging from a fellow Muslim soldier who "fragged" other U.S. soldiers with a grenade at the start of the Iraq war to a serial rapist and murderer.

The number of Hasan's alleged victims - 13 dead - far exceed the number of any of the other convicted killers on the military death row. The Wall Street Journal reported today that prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for Hasan.

It's not clear whether Hasan's medical condition could affect whether he would be confined to the military's death row, which is located a secluded corridor of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Hasan's lawyer said today that his client is likely paralyzed below the waist.

"The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks is built to American Disability Act compliance, and to remain ADA compliant, has handicap accessible cells," said Rebecca Steed, spokeswoman for the army garrison at Ft. Leavenworth.

If Hasan does eventually get sentenced to die, he will likely spend a long time on death row. The military has sentenced 15 servicemen to death since 1984, the year President Reagan reinstated the death penalty. But due to appeals, commutations and stays, just five men remain in the unit for the condemned.

John Bennet was the last soldier to be executed by the military. He was hanged in 1961, convicted of the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Australian girl.

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the president must sign the order for an inmate to be executed.

If Hasan is convicted and condemned to die, this is who his final cellmates would be:

Hasan K. Akbar, 38, is the most recent addition to the military's death row. Accused of throwing a grenade into a tent of sleeping soldiers from his own brigade, the former Army sergeant was convicted of murdering two people and attempted murder of 16 other soldiers by a court martial in 2005.

Prosecutors said Akbar, a Muslim convert, carried out the attack on the 101st Airborne Division's Kuwaiti camp to achieve "maximum carnage" on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Prosecutors said Akbar told them he carried out the attacks to prevent the soldiers from killing Muslims in Iraq.

He was the first American soldier accused of killing fellow soldiers since the Vietnam War.

His case is currently under review as part of the military's automatic appeals process.

Ronald Gray was supposed to be executed in 2008 for multiple rapes and murders, but a federal judge stayed the execution.

In July 2008, President George W. Bush signed the order to execute Gray, 43, a former Army specialist convicted of multiple rapes and murders, but a federal judge stayed the execution and Gray remains on death row.

Gray has been on death row at Fort Leavenworth since 1988 when a court martial convicted him of murdering two women and raping three in December 1986 and January 1987 in Fayetteville, N.C.

Despite being the military's only maximum security facility, housing death row inmates from all branches of the military, Leavenworth does not have the facilities to conduct an execution. Had the execution taken place, Gray would have been scheduled to be killed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind. on Dec. 10, 2008, said Steed.

Dwight J. Loving was an Army private serving at Fort Hood when he was convicted in 1989 of robbing and murdering two cab drivers, one a retired NCO and the other a soldier moonlighting as a driver to earn extra money.

On the night of Dec. 11, 1988 Loving robbed the two drivers, shot them each in the back of the head and made off with less than $100 in total. After meeting up with a girlfriend, Loving tried to rob a third driver, who got away.

Attorneys from Cornell University Law School's Death Penalty Project have petitioned the Supreme Court to review Loving's conviction. "If that petition is unsuccessful, Mr. Loving will seek federal habeas corpus review of his conviction and sentence of death," according to a statement on the project's Web site.