11.11.2009

Hasan to be charged in military court

Following up on our earlier conversation about how to charge the Fort Hood gunman, I thought I would share this development: Hasan, the gunman, will be charged in military - not civilian - court.

I am not intimately familiar with the UCMJ, so I'm interested in how this plays into the possible charges that can be brought.  While the linked version is not the official version of the UCMJ, here's a look at the possible charges I can see:

Aiding the Enemy (I think this will be difficult to prove unless links with radical islamists tied closely to al-Qaeda can be solidified in a meaningful way)

Murder

Mutiny and Sedition  The "levying war" facet of the Constitutional crime of treason seems to have its analogue in this charge.
The penalty of death is in play with these charges, as it is with treason.  Treason, being the only Constitutionally-defined crime in American law, would seem to entail a charge brought through an Article III civilian court, not a military court.