Military Charges Hasan With 13 Counts of Murder, Excludes Unborn Baby’s Death

State   Steven Ertelt   Nov 12, 2009   |   9:00AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Military Charges Hasan With 13 Counts of Murder, Excludes Unborn Baby’s Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 12
, 2009

Fort Hood, TX (LifeNews.com) — The military has charged Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the terrible shooting that recently took place at the Fort Hood military base. The initial charges do not include one for the death of an unborn child, who was the little-talked-about fourteenth victim.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey told a news conference Thursday that additional charges may be filed, which pro-life advocates hope would include one for the baby’s death.

Hasan is suspected of killing 12 soldiers and one civilian in last Thursday’s shooting and he was shot and wounded by two police officers at the base.

He is currently in recovery at an Army hospital in San Antonio, where his attorneys read him the charges.

Americans United for Life attorney Mailee Smith is disappointed that the death of soldier Francheska Velez’s unborn baby is rarely mentioned. Velez was on maternity leave when she stopped at Ft. Hood, where she and the child she carried in her womb fell victim to Hasan’s bullet.

"There are, of course, many unnamed victims of the attack at Fort Hood. Spouses, parents, children, siblings, friends. Each left to suffer and question why, on American soil, their loved one’s life was violently ended," she said.

"When Hasan took Velez’s life, he took the life of her unborn baby as well," she said. "As the country looks for justice to be served in this horrendous tragedy, we cannot forget that Hasan can and should be charged with the death of Baby Velez as well."

The Uniform Code of Military Justice was modified when President George W. Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2004, Smith explains.

She says "justice can be sought for Baby Velez" because it allows for prosecutors to bring an additional crime of killing an unborn child when a crime involving the death of an unborn baby occurs on federal land, such as a U.S. military base.

As LifeNews.com opinion columnist Maria Vitale wrote yesterday, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as Laci and Conner’s law, is named for the pregnant woman and unborn baby who were murdered in California by Scott Peterson, the baby’s father.

"It would seem that the law applies in this case for three reasons: the act of violence was committed on federal property…the shooting was allegedly done by a member of the military…and the violence could be classified as an act of terrorism," she explains.

Also, under Texas law that took effect in September 2003, the protections of the entire criminal code extend to “an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”

"The Obama Administration has a moral obligation to press for prosecution of Hasan under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. If such a legal path is ignored, it will demonstrate to the world that the President is caving in to a pro-abortion lobby who will not recognize the legal rights of any child in the womb—even a child whose mother desperately longs to give birth," Vitale concludes.

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