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Fort Hood lawyer blogs again, despite gag order, on injustices in case against Major Nidal Hasan
Posted By Aleksandra Kulczuga On 1:40 PM 03/13/2010 In Blog - Aleksandra Kulczuga | 29 Comments
Following a two-week absence, the Fort Hood attorney was back at it Friday despite a gag order, blogging on the perceived injustices suffered by his defense team in defending Major Nidal Hasan, the man charged in the shooting deaths of 13 people.
As previously reported by The Daily Caller, John P. Galligan, Hasan’s civilian defense attorney, made waves in the legal community when he launched the high-profile blog to highlight his obstacles in defending the case. The blog was silent for nearly two weeks after the initial controversy erupted, but he’s back, saying: “My blog will continue to highlight how my client is being unfairly treated.”
Galligan was put under partial gag order, but is adamant that his public comments don’t violate any ethical or legal rules.
In the latest post, he argues that his client was denied a “mitigation expert” — a key part of defending someone charged with a capital crime. Galligan explained that in order to push for the death penalty, prosecutors will have to prove there were “aggravating factors” in the crime – and that it is standard for the defense to present their “mitigating factors” (for example, mental deficiency). Galligan claimed the denial was unprecedented, and prejudiced.
“This is standard operating procedure in any other case, and the only reason I can see for this treatment is because my client is a Muslim,” he told The Daily Caller.
Galligan pointed out that if the Army didn’t approve a mitigation expert, the prosecution would be undermining its own case as well, and making it much more likely that a future appeal would overturn a capital conviction.
“The manner in which they’re operating is unconstitutional and discriminatory. If we don’t get the mitigation specialist, I can file to ask the commanding general to stay the proceedings,” Galligan said.
“Look on post and see what they’re doing — they’ve already sealed off the site of the offense,” and he said they are engaging in “substantial contractual expenditures” to fortify the site. “They claim it’s to protect Hasan, but it’s for show, he’s not a security risk.”
“The only threat here is the prosecutors who are trying to kill him.”
“I’m well aware of my ethical disclosures,” said Galligan when asked if he thinks he is disclosing too much to the public. “I believe I’m operating in a very, very unique environment, I’m representing a client in a potential court martial process, where there is no judge — I’m still operating in a command driven environment … where everybody from the commander-in-chief on down has already commented on this case and condemned my client.”
Part of the documentation that Galligan has been unable to view is a classified review done by the White House on the intelligence surrounding Hasan. He said he doesn’t have a security clearance but says his co-counsel does, and that either that should be enough or that they should fast-track his clearance approval process.
“I’m not disclosing anything, my client is getting screwed! How do you think you’d feel when you wake up every day and see on MSNBC or Fox news a tour of your client’s home? Do I have to get a press badge to get that kind of access?! … I’ve gotten more out of the press than I’ve gotten out of the military,” says Galligan.
Contact Aleksandra at: ak[at]dailycaller[dot]com.
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