DoD says Purple Hearts would Prejudice Hasan Trial
The Department of Defense has told Congress that their bills aimed at granting combat wounded status — Purple Hearts — to the victims of the Fort Hood massacre would prejudice his court-martial:
Passage of this legislation could directly and indirectly influence potential court-martial panel members, witnesses, or the chain of command, all of whom exercise a critical role under the [UCMJ]. Defense counsel will argue that Major Hasan cannot receive a fair trial because a branch of government has indirectly declared that Major Hasan is a terrorist — that he is criminally culpable.
This must be one of the awkward results of the “fairness” of the American judicial system. Everyone “knows” he did it. Hasan has even tried to plead guilty, and would have already if the court had allowed it (by taking execution off the table). So even with “guilt” essentially admitted, the exercise of protecting Hasan’s right to a fair “trial” — a judicial event which can only, once again, establish his guilt — demands that his victims and their families wait for years for him to even see the start of his proceedings — during which they lack full recognition for the price they paid in the massacre.
One can only hope that when all is said and done the government bestows upon the victims and their families the highest in honors and benefits that it does with any other military member who is killed or wounded by those violently advocating the ideology of the enemies of the United States.