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Soldier sentenced to death for Fort Hood shooting

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Major Nidal Hasan represented himself at trial.  He mounted no defense, calling himself a soldier who' switched sides. Major Nidal Hasan represented himself at trial. He mounted no defense, calling himself a soldier who' switched sides. Image source: ABC News

   FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - A military jury has sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, giving the Army psychiatrist what he believed would be a path to martyrdom in the attack on unarmed fellow soldiers.

   The American-born Muslim, who has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, never denied being the gunman. In opening statements, he acknowledged to the jury that he pulled the trigger in a crowded waiting room where troops were getting final medical checkups before deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.

   Hasan could become the first American soldier executed in more than half a century once automatic appeals are exhausted. But the lead prosecutor assured jurors that Hasan would "never be a martyr" despite his attempt to tie the attack to his Islamic faith.

   Gale Hunt, whose son was killed in the shooting, told reporters, "Anyone who would use their religion to commit acts of terrorism serves no god except their own hatred and self-interest."

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