Aug. 7, 2013 ABC News
The trial of Major Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens more in a Fort Hood shooting rampage, was temporarily halted today when a lawyer objected that Hasan was putting up no defense in an effort to get himself executed.
The lawyer's concern brings a touch of the absurd to the trial. Hasan was prevented from pleading guilty because that would have eliminated a trial and the option of a death sentence.
But his feeble defense -- in his opening statement Hasan said, "I am the shooter" -- may ultimately backfire if an appeals court finds his defense was so poor that his trial could not be considered fair.
The government has spent four years and $5 million to guarantee Hasan is given an airtight trial that concludes with a guilty verdict and the possibility of a death sentence. Read More
On August 7, 1998, a massive truck bomb explodes outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Minutes later, another truck bomb detonated outside the U.S. embassy in the capital of neighboring Tanzania.
On August 6, 1890, the electric chair is first used at Auburn Prison in New York against William Kemmler, who had been convicted of murdering his lover, Matilda Ziegler. Electrocution as a humane means of execution was first suggested in 1881 by Dr. Albert Southwick, a dentist. Southwick had witnessed an elderly drunkard "painlessly" killed after touching the terminals of an electrical generator in Buffalo, New York.
On August 5, 1998, Marie Noe is arrested at her Philadelphia home and charged in the smothering deaths of eight of her children, who all died between 1949 and 1968. Each of the eight infants was reportedly healthy at birth, but later died when home alone with Noe.
Sir Roger Casement
On August 3, 1916, Sir Roger David Casement, an Irish-born diplomat who in 1911 was knighted by King George V, is executed for his role in Ireland's Easter Rising. Casement was an Irish Protestant who served as a British diplomat during the early part of the 20th century.
Wild Bill Hickok
On August 2, 1876, Wild Bill Hickok, one of the most famous gunfighters of the American West, is murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota. Born on May 27, 1837 in Troy Grove, Illinois, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok first gained notoriety as a gunfighter in 1861 when he coolly shot three men who were trying to kill him. A highly sensationalized account of the gunfight appeared six years later in the popular periodical Harper's New Monthly Magazine, sparking Hickok's rise to national fame.
On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman takes a stockpile of guns and ammunition to the observatory platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas and proceeds to shoot 46 people, killing 14 people and wounding 31. Whitman, who had killed both his wife and mother the night before, was eventually shot to death after Austin police officers charged up the stairs of the tower to subdue the attacker.
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