The new army judge in the Forth Hood shooting case, Colonel Tara Osborn, decides whether to spare suspect Nidal Hasan a possible death sentence and allow him to plead guilty to 13 counts of murder.
Hasan, a former US Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in a shooting rampage at a Texas army base on November 5, 2009. The US Senate called the incident the "worst terrorist attack on US soil since September 11".
Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea in a death penalty case. If the death sentence is removed, Hasan will face a life sentence without parole.
Hasan's trial has long been delayed due to an alleged bias on the side of the previous judge in the case. Defense lawyers argue that the defendant should be spared a possible death sentence as his rights have been repeatedly violated in the course of the preliminary hearings.
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