Nidal Hasan, the man convicted last week of killing 13 U.S. military personnel and wounding 32 more in 2009 as they prepared for deployment to Afghanistan, got what he wanted by a military court: a death penalty sentence.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim who said he committed the murders to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, served as his own attorney during the trial, barely brought up any defense, and made no closing arguments.
He sought the death penalty so that he could be considered a martyr, in the same way some religious extremists consider themselves martyrs for blowing up crowds of innocent people.
The death penalty is too good for this murderer. While family members of some of the victims stated the sentence is justice for the crime he committed, the death penalty gives him his wish, and infamy among like-minded extremists.
Because of automatic appeals in military trial death penalty cases, it would be years, if ever, before the sentence is carried out. Those automatic appeals also mean hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more government dollars spent arguing the sentence for a man who originally wanted to plead guilty but was not allowed to do so.
Many argue that capital punishment is not fit for a civil society. Regardless of that argument, this individual should be punished by living out the rest of his life in military prison, not by obtaining what he
believes is his reward for a heinous crime.