Letter to The Editor – Artificially Sprucing Up Killeen’s Image


At least one reader responded to my heavily-edited letter, complaining that I must still be part of the defense team . . . . .  He or she wrote:

The writer of the above Letter to the Editor,John P. Galligan, a former defense attorney for Major Hasan the murderer of 14 (including the unborn child) plus the wounding of many more on Ft Hood on Nov.2009, Is in my eye, still working in defense of Maj. Hasan.

The writer states,We should join in common prayer for the Major instead of worrying about what the town looks like for any world news reporters.– I agree with him on the point of not caring what the outside media may think of Killeen on the surface. However I believe the former defense attorney is still arguing in defense of the accused when he states, it is anyone except the Major who has caused this case not to come forward and for its delay. The writer should accept he is also responsible for the delay of trial when he argued spent months arguing for his client,a man who willingly took it upon himself to kill his fellow soldiers, and did this in the uniform of an army he was thought to be loyal toward,at least on the surface by the people who knew of him.

The writer seems to have a problem thinking the man may receive the death penalty.

Stating The Obvious: Death Penalty Cases Cost A Bundle

COSTS: Federal Case Reveals High Costs of Death Penalty Prosecutions

The recent federal capital trial of Brian Richardson in Atlanta illustrated the high costs of litigation when the death penalty is sought. Richardson’s case required more than 30 lawyers, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in expert witness fees. The U.S. Attorney’s Office assigned eight prosecutors to the case and appointed 20 private attorneys to represent inmates who were testifying against Richardson. The Federal Defender’s Office assigned four attorneys and two investigators to Richardson’s defense. The office spent almost $200,000 for its experts and expenses. Other costs to taxpayers included more than $150,000 billed by mental health experts who planned to testify at trial, but were prohibited from doing so.  In the end, the defendant was sentenced to life without parole.  U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper barred the expert testimony after finding that prosecutors misled him as to how the experts would conduct Richardson’s mental health evaluation. Two assistant U.S. Attorneys were also removed from the case. One was stricken after recordings revealed a disturbing conversation between the prosecutor and a government snitch. The second prosecutor was barred because of a conflict of interest, but he continued working on the case behind the scenes, in defiance of the judge’s order.  Brian Mendelsohn, one of Richardson’s lawyers, said, “This was a colossal waste of taxpayer money. Brian was willing to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence from day one. This entire episode could have been avoided.”

Richardson was in prison for armed robbery and had murdered his cellmate in the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta.  The prosecution took four years and resulted in a 9-week trial.  The government helped get reduced sentences for some of the inmates they brought in and who cooperated with the prosecution. The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the actions of the original prosecutors.

(B. Rankin, “Costs questioned in failed death-penalty case,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 12, 2012).  See Costs and Federal Death Penalty.  Listen to our podcast on Costs.


No Surprise – CAAF Grants Stay In The Hasan Case: This Happens When The Government Turns A Trial Into A Circus (Or Forcible Shave!)

Wanna bet that the Fort Hood PAO had a hard time swallowing and spinning the following order from the highest military court of appeals . . . . .

On consideration of the petition for extraordinary relief in the nature of a writ of prohibition to prevent the military judge from ordering the forcible shaving of Petitioner’s facial hair, and Petitioner’s motion for a stay of proceedings, it is, by the Court, this 15th day of August, 2012,


That said motion for a stay of proceedings is hereby granted, pending further order of the Court.

Respondent will file an answer to said petition on or before 12:00 p.m. EDT, August 22, 2012.

Hasan v. Gross, __ M.J. __, No. 12-8032/AR (C.A.A.F. Aug. 15, 2012).

Sorry Judge, But No Forced Shave For The Moment


DATE: August 15, 2012 4:18:10 PM CDT

Appellate court orders Hasan court martial stayed until further notice

FORT HOOD — Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan began Aug. 15 with the accused appearing unshaven in court. Gross again held a contempt hearing and fined the accused $1,000.

Gross next considered briefings from both parties and ruled that Article 45(b) of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice is neither unconstitutional nor infringes upon Hasan’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Article 45(b) prohibits a military judge from receiving a guilty plea from an accused to any offense for which the accused could be sentenced to death.

Additionally, Gross denied a defense motion that the general court martial convening authority, Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, Jr., and his Staff Judge Advocate, Col. Stuart Risch, should be disqualified from their roles in this case.

Gross had next scheduled for Hasan to enter pleas to the charged offenses of thirteen allegations of premeditated murder and thirty-two allegations of attempted premeditated murder.

Before that occurred, however, the parties and the court received an order from the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.  The CAAF ordered the proceedings stayed until further order by that court so the appellate court could consider if Gross can order the accused forcibly shaved.

The CAAF is the highest level appellate court in the military, is made up of five civilian judges, and oversees military justice for all armed forces.

The accused is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

For more information contact:

Fort Hood Public Affairs Office
Media Relations
(254) 286-5139
1001 761st Tank Battalion Ave
Suite W105
Fort Hood, TX 76544

Military Judge Presses On With Trial and Threat of Forcible Shave – Defense Team Says It Will Be Ineffective

I’m telling you unequivocally that if we go to trial on 20 August, we will  without reservation be providing ineffective counsel for Major Hasan.