Every day that convicted murderer Sergeant Hasan Akbar continues to live is a day too many. Now, some supposedly say he may not meet the justice to which he has been sentenced.
Some experts think Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar may never actually face execution, despite being sentenced to death for attacking his fellow troops.
The military has not executed one of its own since 1961.
Akbar was sentenced to die this week for killing two officers in March of 2003 in a grenade attack in Kuwait.
Currently, there are five people on military death row; three whose cases are in appeals and two are awaiting action from the president.
Akbar’s trial goes to automatic appeal.
Hours after giving a brief, barely audible apology, Akbar was sentenced to death by a military jury for attacking comrades with a rifle and grenades early in the Iraq invasion.
He could have been sentenced Thursday to life in prison with or without parole for the March 2003 attack on members of the elite 101st Airborne Division at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait. Two officers were killed and 14 other soldiers were wounded.
Jurors took about seven hours to reach their decision Thursday. Last week, the same 15-person military jury took just two and a half hours last week to convict Akbar of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder.
The sentence will be reviewed by a commanding officer and automatically appealed. If Akbar is executed, it would be by lethal injection.
Although the defense contends Akbar was too mentally ill to plan the attack, they have never disputed that he threw grenades into troop tents in the early morning darkness and then fired on soldiers in the ensuing chaos. Army Capt. Chris Seifert, 27, and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone, 40, were killed.
Prosecutors say Akbar launched the attack at his camp â€” days before the soldiers were to move into Iraq â€” because he was concerned about U.S. troops killing fellow Muslims in the Iraq war.
“He is a hate-filled, ideologically driven murderer,” chief prosecutor Lt. Col. Michael Mulligan said. He added that Akbar wrote in his diary in 1997, “My life will not be complete unless America is destroyed.”
Akbar is the first American since the Vietnam era to be prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier during wartime.
“Hasan Akbar has robbed me of so many things,” said Tammie Eslinger, Stone’s fiancee, after the sentencing. “He stole my love, my family, my dreams and my future. But he could never steal my spirit.”
Seifert’s widow, Theresa, said she was satisfied with the military justice system. She called Akbar “a nonentity to me.”
Defense attorney Maj. David Coombs told jurors that a sentence of life without parole would allow Akbar to be treated for mental illness and possibly rehabilitated.
“Death is an absolute punishment, a punishment of last resort,” Coombs said.
Yes, death is an absolute punishment. Tell that little whine to the victims, his fellow soldiers that he killed in a cold, premeditated manner. Death is an absolute punishment that won’t come too quickly or too painfully for this creature.
Funny thing about this story, though, is there are no statements from experts doubting his possible execution. Just a headline and an opening paragraph that make claim of those so-called experts.