Over the past several weeks, the Hasan Defense Team has voiced repeated complaints to the Administrative Staff at the Bell County Jail, as well as to US Army officials. The principal complaint is that Major Hasan, a paraplegic, is experiencing continuance chills. His repeated complaints have basically been ignored. During many visits with counsel, he shivers nonstop.
The Defense made several requests to address the problem. It was requested that the air conditioner vents in his cells be sealed shut – that request was disapproved. A portable space heater was requested for his cell – that request also was denied. And finally, it was requested that Major Hasan be permitted to wear a sweater and a knitted cap. Although Jail officials finally relented and permitted the cap, they have prohibited Major Hasan from using a sweater or insulated underwear. Their rationale – Major Hasan is to be treated like every other prisoner. Of course, their argument overlooks the fact that US Army officials, when placing Major Hasan in pretrial confinement, noted that his circumstances were unique and would require individualized treatment. For that reason, US Army officials have paid Bell County over $200,000 for a six-month term. The great bulk of the contract fee is literally wasted on a unncessary round-the-clock guard inside the jail. Bell County is not responsible for any guard services when Major Hasan is transported outside the jail facility for pretrial hearings, meeting with Defense Counsel, etc. As noted in earlier posts, ambient temperatures can present serious medical problems for paralyzed individuals like Major Hasan. The refusal of Army and Jail officials to provide Major Hasan with a sweater or other appropriate clothing constitutes intentional pretrial maltreatment, a direct violation of Article 13, UCMJ.