Monday, November 16, 2009

Charges Filed Against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

Military prosecutors charged Maj. Hasan with 13 counts of premeditated murder on Friday, November 13. He will face those charges, and perhaps others not yet announced, in a military trial, a court-martial. Courts-martial are both the forums and the proceedings in which members of the armed forces are tried for traditional offenses, like rape or murder, and offenses that are peculiar to the military, like absence without leave.

The trial will be governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U.S.C. §§801-946), which sets out the substantive provisions of the military criminal justice system, and the procedural rules found in the Manual for Courts-Martial. For a general overview of the process for this court-martial, check out’s article, “How the Military Will Try Nidal Hasan.” The Department of Defense has a more detailed description of the types of courts-martial at its Victim and Witness Assistance Council website.

In the Gallagher Law Library you can find the Uniform Code of Military Justice in the United States Code (including, of course, the USCA and the USCS), at KF62 in the Reference Area. The most recent edition of the Manual for Courts-Martial (which also includes the UCMJ in an appendix), is found in paper in the Classified Stacks at KF7625 .A852 2008. For more information about researching military justice, consult Chapter 9 (Military and Veterans Law) in Penny A. Hazelton, ed., Specialized Legal Research, KF240 .S63 in the Reference Office.

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