Fort Hood Victims May be Questioned by Their Shooter

Suspect Nidal Hasan is representing himself, so victims may have to face him on the stand
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 4:46 PM CDT
Fort Hood Victims May be Questioned by Their Shooter
Retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford describes one of his wounds from the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

When a judge ruled that Fort Hood shooting suspect Nidal Hasan is allowed to represent himself in court, she warned him it would be a "disadvantage." But there's a pretty huge downside for the prosecution as well: Hasan may well get to cross-examine the very victims he admits to targeting, reports the New York Times. "I will be cross-examined by the man who shot me," says Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot once in the head and six times in the body, and is now blind in one eye. "You can imagine all the emotions that are going to be coming up."

"I have to keep my composure and not go after the guy," says Shawn Manning, a mental health specialist who still has two bullets lodged in his body, per the AP. "I'm not afraid of him, obviously. He's a paralyzed guy in a wheelchair, but it's sickening that he's still living and breathing." Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but as the Times reports, the military’s death penalty system is not historically very successful, and prisoners often live on death row for the rest of their natural lives. But that wouldn't be such a bad outcome, Manning tells the AP. "Living in a cell, paralyzed for the rest of his life," he says, "is some sort of justice as well." (More Fort Hood shooting stories.)

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