Fort Hood shooter may be detained in Belton

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According to several news sources, accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan will be housed in the new Belton County jail, just miles from UMHB.

Hasan has been in a military hospital in San Antonio since the Nov. 5 shootings. The Bell County Sherriff’s office says the move is not a done deal but, “If and when an agreement is made to accept Hasan, his transfer date and time will not be announced in advance.”

Why Belton? Fort Hood has sent prisoners here for years because the base does not have adequate facilities. Students do not need to feel alarmed by Hasan’s closeness. The Bell County jail is only a year old, away from town, and up to state standards. Hasan will be held in a medical unit where he can be treated. It should be an honor that the government feels comfortable housing him there. Millions of dollars went to the construction for the very purpose of taking care of criminals.

He should be here. Belton is home to his lawyer, and near Fort Hood. It is also near where the hearing will be. He is a paralyzed man. Security around Hasan has been airtight since the attack. Even the general statements by the sheriff point to continued safety and protection of the situation. What is there to fear?

Belton lawyer John Galligan represents Hasan. He argues that Belton is ill-equipped to treat his client who is paralyzed. On his blog he states that one of his former clients was not properly taken care of during her time there. His out-spoken blog is grasping for sympathy for his client in a community that is already hostile toward Hasan.

Still Galligan demands fair and right treatment and process, exactly what Americans should expect.

Hasan’s housing and trial is a major point in the struggle of American justice against terror. Galligan is loudly standing up for his client as the June 1 military hearing approaches.

We have seen and heard of the trauma of Guantanamo. Obama’s attempts to close the Cuban base have been fruitless because there is no where else to house terrorists. Hasan is not a foreign born attacker, but his successful holding, hearing and trial could prove that terrorists can face justice within American borders. Hasan is an American still, and it is encouraging that due process is served to him like any other American regardless of his crime.

Galligan is fighting tooth and nail for his client. Despite the anger and betrayal people may feel towards someone who perpetrated the largest shooting on an American military base, Hasan is getting his due process. That is what America is about.

We have a civilized judiciary that works to protect and punish. Belton is playing its role in the process of justice in America, even to the worst offenders.

Author: Evan Duncan

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