The jury is now deliberating a possible death sentence for convicted Fort Hood mass murderer Nidal Hasan, after prosecutors gave their final plea for the rare sentence Wednesday.
Deliberations began at about 11 a.m. CT, after Hasan declined to make any closing statement in the sentencing phase of his trial.
The same jury convicted Hasan Friday on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for the 2009 mass shooting.
Before Hasan’s turn came to speak Wednesday morning, prosecutor Colonel Mike Mulligan spent around 45 minutes recalling for the jury the victims’ family members who testified and other evidence of the crime presented in the prior 16 days of trial.
“We ask you now with your sentence to make him accountable,” Mulligan said. “Today will be his day of reckoning.”
Anticipating what Hasan could say in a closing statement, Mulligan refuted what Hasan has said before in documents released to the media about religious motives for the crime.
“He is not giving his life. We are taking his life. It is not his gift to God. It is his death,” Mulligan said.
Hasan mentioned religious motives in a brief opening statement at the beginning of the trial.
He told an Army sanity review board in 2010 that he would be a “martyr” if he is executed for the crime which he considered part of a holy war to stop soldiers from fighting in Afghanistan.
“He will not now and he never will be a martyr. He is a criminal. He is a cold-blooded murderer,” Mulligan said.
Representing himself in the trial, Hasan rarely raised any objections and presented no defense evidence.
The judge repeatedly asked if he wanted to have lawyers but he declined.
Stand-by attorneys again Tuesday attempted to intercede on Hasan’s behalf but the judge told them Hasan is the “captain of his own ship.”
The stand-by lawyers have said before they believe Hasan is helping prosecutors win the death sentence they are seeking.
Hasan was forbidden from pleading guilty in the death penalty case under military law.
Follow the story from Fort Hood via @KenKalthoffNBC5 who is tweeting from the Army base.