Updated 07/14/2010 07:58 AM
Hasan's attorney unable to access key documents for case
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It has been more than a month since accused Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, first appeared in court at the post.
Since then, Hasan's civilian defense attorney, John Galligan, said they’ve received thousands of pages of evidence.
"Large amounts of discovery have been provided to us, 49,000 to 50,000 pages worth of additional discovery, but a lot of it is a repeat or in the final form of what was preliminarily given," he said.
But Galligan said the defense team is still missing key documents, including information completed by White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, as well as sections of the 45-day review led by Togo West and Vernon Clark.
Catch up on Hasan’s case, review policy changes instituted at Fort Hood and view what the Fort Hood community is doing in memory of those who lost their lives during the Nov. 5 mass shooting at Fort Hood in our Fort Hood Shooting Section.
"There is a big black hole when it comes to any of those major pieces of evidence, all of which are extremely important for the defense," he said.
Without the release of these reports, Galligan said it is difficult to properly prepare a defense.
"If it's going to be a one sided hearing, I think the next issue that has to be addressed is whether or not it should be an open hearing," he said. "If they're only going to allow part of the evidence, part of the information to be presented to the public sector [then] that gives me great pause."
So far, Galligan said 131 witnesses are scheduled to testify during the Article 32 hearing. Many of those witnesses will be testifying on behalf of the prosecution.
While the Article 32 hearing is equivalent to a preliminary hearing in the civilian court, Galligan said he is convinced Hasan's case will become a capital case.
"If you are going to, as I believe in this case, plan on doing, send it to a court where people are going to be authorized to kill Maj. Hasan, have him executed, then I think the Army owes it to not just to Maj. Hasan, but every other soldier to make sure they do it right by the way of process," he said.
Galligan said the process is especially important when considering the Army's record in capital cases.
"The Army doesn't have a good track record when it comes to death penalty cases. The reversal rate is about 80 percent," he said. "A lot of those issues on appeal were found to be reversible error, or errors that deal precisely with the kinds of problems the defense team is encountering in the Hasan case."
Despite the problems they have encountered, Galligan said he will he will not be throwing in the towel.
"Part of me says I'm really upset by what I see going on," he said. "But that's what invigorates me to say I'll be in here and for the long haul."
The hearing is scheduled to start on Oct. 12.