Now that NIdal Hasan has been convicted and sentenced to death, Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep John Carter (R-Georgetown) who represents Ft. Hood, plan to announce the 'Honoring the Ft. Hood Heroes Act,' which would overturn the Obama Administration's declaration that Hasan's shootings were 'workplace violence,' and not terrorism, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Meanwhile, Hasan's civilian attorney, John Galligan, predicts Hasan's conviction and death sentence will be overturned on appeal. Hasan says it was 'unfair' for the jury to convict and condemn a man who was so clearly incapable of representing himself at his trial.
Cornyn says his measure would declare that the November 2009 attack at Ft. Hood was 'a terrorist attack on the United States' and would insure that the 13 people who died and the 32 people who were wounded are declared to be 'casualties of war.'
Such a declaration would qualify the men and women for the Purple Heart Medal, as well as enhanced medical benefits.
The Pentagon declared the shooting to be 'workplace violence' to speed the process of trying and convicting Hasan, saying what the victims need more than medals is 'closure' and the right to see the person who killed and wounded their loved ones held accountable in court.
There is no crime of 'terrorism' in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, unlike in the federal or state civilian courts, and prosecutors were worried that having to 'craft' a charge specifically for Hasan would slow the slow-moving case even more and would lead to a conviction being overturned no appeal.
It remains possible that the conviction will be overturned. Experts say when Judge Col. Tara Osborn saw that Hasan was not going to mount a defense and appeared to be attempting to get a death sentence, she should have stepped in, declared Hasan to be incapable of serving as his own lawyer, and ordered the court appointed stand by counsel to step in and represent him.
Hasan cross examined no witnesses, did not make an opening or closing statement, and called no witnesses in his defense. Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, who was the leader of Hasan's stand-by legal team, asked Osborne to remove him from the case, saying he could not ethically be a party to what one observer called a 'slow motion guilty plea.'
Meanwhile, Hasan is being transferred to the Military Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas while his automatic and mandatory appeals are underway. There has been speculation that the appeals could take years to decide, and there has been speculation that Hasan's eventual destination will be the 'Supermax' Federal Correctional Facility in Florence Colorado.