Man accused of US gun rampage seeks to avoid death penalty

SAN ANTONIO - Accused Fort Hood gunman Army Major Nidal Hasan is expected to ask a court on Thursday to remove the death penalty as a punishment option in his forthcoming court-martial on charges of killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage.
At a pre-trial hearing, judge Colonel Tara Osborn is likely to consider a request from the defense that Hasan's trial be pushed back until Sept. 1. Selection of the panel of officers who will act as the jury is set to begin on May 29.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is facing the death penalty for opening fire in Forth Hood, Texas, on a group of soldiers who were preparing to deploy to Iraq on Nov. 5, 2009.
In addition to the 13 killed, 32 were wounded, and Hasan, 42, is paralyzed from the chest down from gunshots fired by two civilian Fort Hood police officers who ended what was the worst shooting at a US military installation.
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