Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan may have thought his jihadist attack on U.S. military personnel would net him a a few virgins in paradise and immortality as a "martyr" for Islam, but lead prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan explained Wednesday that it would be "wrong and unsupportive" to label Hasan's heinous acts as anything other than cold-blooded murder.
To that end, his death penalty sentence is not a gift for Hasan but a debt owed to society:
"You cannot offer what you don't own; you cannot give away what is not yours. [Nidal Hasan] can never be a martyr because he has nothing to give. ...
Do not be misled. Do not be confused. Do not be fooled: He is not giving his life; we are taking his life.
This is not his gift to God, it's his debt to society.
He will not now and will not ever be a martyr. He is a criminal, a cold-blooded murderer.
On 5 November he did not leave this earth, he remained to pay a price, to pay a debt. The debt he owes is his life."