05-20-2018  10:57 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

US Marshals, police arrest Vermont fugitive in Oregon

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a missing sex offender from Vermont has been arrested in Oregon.The Marshals say 55-year-old James Rivers was arrested May 16 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, by deputy marshals and local police. It's unclear if he has an attorney.Authorities...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

ENTERTAINMENT

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Company in Cuba plane crash had received safety complaints

HAVANA (AP) — The Mexican charter company whose 39-year-old plane crashed in Havana had been the subject of...

Palestinian publicly sets himself on fire in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A 20-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after publicly setting...

Iran says EU political support not enough, urges investment

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV is reporting that the country's foreign minister has urged the European...

The Latest: Maduro's challengers criticize 'red points'

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela (all times local):1:01...

By Chelsea J. Carter CNN



A military jury considering the fate of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with massacring soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, resumed deliberations Friday morning in the death penalty case.

Hasan is charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the November 5, 2009, shooting rampage at a deployment processing center where prosecutors say he targeted soldiers he was set to deploy with to Afghanistan.

A judge handed the case to the jury, a panel of 13 senior officers, on Thursday afternoon after 12 days of testimony in a court-martial where Hasan was acting as his own attorney.

After nearly three hours of deliberations, the panel asked to rehear the testimony of the police officer who shot Hasan, ending the rampage that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded.

Jurors also asked to see a map marked by the police officer, Mark Todd, indicating where he shot Hasan.

The questions appeared to indicate that the jury was evaluating the charge -- premeditated attempted murder -- against Hasan for firing at Todd, who was not wounded in the attack.

The jury began deliberations after Hasan declined to make a statement during closing arguments.

The prosecution urged the jury to convict, saying the evidence showed that he believed he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible. If the jury unanimously convicts Hasan of two or more counts of premeditated murder, he faces a possible death sentence in the penalty phase.

"There is no doubt, as I said in the beginning, the accused is the shooter," the prosecutor, Col. Steven Henricks, told the jury.

"The only question for you is ... is this a premeditated design to kill?"

For more than 90 minutes, the prosecutor took the jury methodically through the evidence in the case, meticulously piecing together how he says Hasan prepared and planned for the attack.

Prosecutors have maintained the American-born Muslim underwent a progressive radicalization that led to the massacre at the sprawling central Texas base.

"He did not want to deploy, and he came to believe he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible," Henricks told the jury.

Hasan picked the day -- November 5, 2009 -- because it was when the units he was scheduled to deploy with to Afghanistan were scheduled to go through the processing center, he said.

Hasan, who has been acting as his own attorney, rested his case without calling a single witness or taking the stand to testify on his own behalf.

His decision not to offer a defense was an anticlimactic end to the trial in which prosecution witnesses, primarily survivors, painted a horrific picture of what unfolded inside a processing center during the attack.

During closing arguments, prosecutors showed a graphic FBI video of the crime scene hours after the rampage, where bodies, blood and bullets still covered the floor.

As the video was shown to the jury, some of the family members of those killed fought back tears.

One woman laid her head on her husband's shoulder, tears pouring down her cheeks, while another woman, a wife of a victim, left the courtroom.

For his part, Hasan watched the video, appearing to pay close attention.

Hasan, who has insisted that the jury not be allowed to consider lesser charges against him, said his attack on soldiers at Fort Hood was not an act of "sudden passion."

There was "adequate provocation" for the attack because the soldiers were going to participate in "an illegal war" in Afghanistan, Hasan told the military judge Wednesday, arguing against the jury being allowed to consider voluntary manslaughter or unpremeditated murder.

Prosecutors argued against the inclusion of lesser charges, saying the attack wasn't carried out in "the heat of sudden passion," and Hasan said he agreed.

The judge ruled that the jurors can consider a lesser charge of unpremeditated murder but not voluntary manslaughter. They can also consider unpremeditated attempted and other lesser charges, she ruled.

Much has been made of Hasan's defense or, as his stand-by attorneys have said, the lack of it. Judge Tara Osborn declined a request by Hasan's attorneys to drop out of the case. The attorneys argued that Hasan was helping the prosecution put him to death.

There may be something to that claim.

Hasan took credit for the shooting rampage at the outset of the trial, telling the jury during opening statements that the evidence will show "I was the shooter."

Osborn barred Hasan from pleading guilty at the start of the court-martial. Under military law, defendants cannot enter guilty pleas in capital punishment cases.

The judge has refused to allow Hasan to argue "defense of others," a claim that he carried out the shootings to protect the Afghan Taliban and its leaders from U.S. soldiers.

Perhaps as a way around that ruling, Hasan in recent days has leaked documents through his civilian attorney to The New York Times and Fox News that offer a glimpse of his justification for carrying out the attack. Among the documents was a mental health evaluation conducted by a military panel to determine whether Hasan was fit to stand trial.

"I don't think what I did was wrong because it was for the greater cause of helping my Muslim brothers," he told the panel, according to pages of the report published by The New York Times.

He also said, according to the documents: "I'm paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life. However, if I died by lethal injection, I would still be a martyr."

Military prosecutors called 89 witnesses and submitted more than 700 pieces of evidence before resting their case.

The judge excluded much of the evidence that the prosecution contends goes to the heart of the motive for the attack, including e-mail communications between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric who officials say became a key member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.

Osborn also declined to allow prosecutors to use materials they maintain showed Hasan's interest in the actions of Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar, the American soldier sentenced to death for killing two soldiers and wounding more than a dozen others at the start of the Iraq war, an attack he said he carried out to stop soldiers from killing Muslims.

Along with the e-mails and the material related to Akbar, Osborn declined to allow the use of Hasan's academic presentation on suicide bombings, saying "motive is not an element of the crime."

 

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