U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan's plan to act as his own attorney against charges he murdered 13 people in the Fort Hood massacre is unusual in the military, but likely to be allowed, says New York State Sen. Lee Zeldin, an Army Reservist and former military magistrate.
"It's not common . . . He's probably not going to do such a great job of representing himself, but with the way the current system is set up, he's afforded those rights,'' Zeldin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"I wouldn't be surprised if the judge allows him to represent himself in this case."
Hasan, an Army Medical Corps officer, is charged in a bloody shooting spree which killed 13 and injured 32 in Fort Hood, Tx., on Nov. 5, 2009.
His request to represent himself could be granted as early as Wednesday by the judge, Col. Tara Osborn.
But Hasan taking on his own defense is bound to cause odd moments during the trial.
"It can create a situation where the people who are going to be testifying against him will be facing possibly cross examination by Maj. Hasan," Zeldin said.
And Hasan — paralyzed because of the injuries he suffered on the day of the shootings and is confined to a wheelchair — probably will not put up a rigorous defense," he added.
"The fact is he doesn’t' know a lot about the military rules of evidence and have court room experience. So I just hope it doesn't become a show that embarrasses our system at all," Zeldin said.
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