A feature on the Navy Times reported that Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, the primary suspect in the fatal shooting rampage that happened in Fort Hood last year, is currently undergoing evaluation that aims, among others, to determine his mental state at the time of the shooting.
Hasan is being evaluated by a three-member military panel, who met with Hasan in jail this week. John Galligan, lead attorney for Maj. Hasan, revealed that the panel is given until mid-January next year to hand in their report. In addition to what they are able to conclude during the exam that they conducted, the panel will also review any evidence that has been presented by prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Galligan, however, has objected to the exam repeatedly, saying that there is not enough access to certain government reports regarding the case: “Some key documents still haven’t been released, so the panel doesn’t have all of the information that it needs.” He also revealed that the defense attorneys were not allowed to observe the conduct of the exam.
The report of the panel is expected to provide insight as to whether Hasan has enough competence to stand trial. In addition, it will also find out whether Hasan was suffering from a severe mental illness at the time of the shooting, which happened November 5, 2009. If it turned out that Hasan was indeed suffering from a mental condition, the panel will also include whether this condition prevented him from realizing that the alleged actions that he did on that day were wrong.