The Ft. Hood massacre took place about three and a half years ago, on November 5, 2009. From that day to this, no one has doubted the identity of the shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan. Nor has anyone doubted that he acted intentionally.
Apparently seeing the virtues of martyrdom, or at least of 79 virgins or whatever the going rate is these days, Maj. Hasan has tried to plead guilty.
Sorry, no dice. If you did it, and you want to admit (or proclaim) it, the Army, which is handling the prosecution, won't allow it, so says this article. Indeed, the poor guy seems to be blocked from pleading guilty to anything.
What kind of nonsense is this? Yes, we want to be sure before we execute -- sure we have the right guy, and sure that the ultimate punishment is warranted in all the circumstances. But we already know we have the right guy, and the circumstances will be thoroughly examined at the penalty phase in any event. There is no such thing as a mandatory death penalty in American law.
So what gives? What gives is that our country has become so tentative, so defensive, so morally obtuse and frankly so silly that we have litigated to the hilt whether Maj. Hasan can keep his beard, but are flatly unwilling to accept his legal admission that he killed 13 people, an admission the entire planet knows is true. This is going on four years after the event, mind you, in which any mental problems (other than hate) the good Major might have could have been thoroughly examined.