Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
FORT HOOD, Texas Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist convicted of murdering 13 and injuring 31 others here in a November 2009 shooting spree, received the death sentence Wednesday from a military jury.
Prosecutors had asked the 13-member jury for the death sentence, saying his murderous shooting spree at the sprawling military base here left tragic and devastating loss for victims and loved ones.
Nadal, 42, was convicted last week on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder.
The death sentence required a unanimous verdict by the jury of 13 military officers. At minimum, Hasan faced life imprisonment.
In a powerful closing argument that took just under an hour, lead prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan earlier recounted each emotional and powerful story of 13 victims whose lives were cut short by Hasan.
"There's a price to be paid for the mass murder he perpetrated on 5 November -- for the lives he horrifically changed and for the pain and sorrow he wrought," Mulligan said.
"These murderous attacks left enormous carnage: 13 dead, eight widows. One widower. 12 minor children without a father, 18 parents lost children. 30 soldiers wounded. One civilian police officer. Their loss, each family -- tragic, difficult and different. For some, death was almost instantaneous. So quick, so lethal they never moved from their chair," Mulligan said.
Hasan, a Virginia-born Muslim, has previously said he was a "soldier of Allah,'' deserved martyrdom and that his attack was designed to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.
But in seeking the death penalty, Mulligan dismissed Hasan's intent.
"This is his debt to society. It is not a charitable act. He is not now and never will be a martyr. He is a criminal. He is a cold blooded murderer. On 5 November, he did not leave this earth. He remained to pay a price.He remained to pay a debt. The debt he owes is his life,'' Mulligan said.
Hasan, who acted as his own attorney during trial and admitted he was responsible for the shootings, declined to address the jury of 13 military officers.
"I have no closing statement,'' said Hasan, who remains paralyzed from the waist down after he was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a civilian police officer during the 2009 base shootings.
Mulligan said earlier that while Hasan's acts were religiously motivated, jurors shouldn't punish him for being a Muslim.
"History is replete with death in the name of religion. The acts of 5 November were religiously motivated. You should not punish him for his religion,'' Mulligan told jurors. "You should punish him for his hate. You should punish him for the action he took in the name of his religion, not for his religion."
Prosecutors rested witness testimony in the sentencing phase of the case Tuesday, with a string of victims and loved ones of those killed in the shooting massacre tearfully talking about the fallout on their lives.