Complete and continuing coverage of the fatal shootings at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009

Maj. Hasan Draws Paychecks He Can't Cash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    The military will pay Maj. Nadal Hasan until he is no longer a member of the military.

    The attorney for Maj. Nadal Hasan says his client, who is still on the military's payroll, can't find a bank that will cash his client's paychecks.

    That's right -- Hasan, the man many hope to see face the death penalty in connection with last November's shooting rampage at Fort Hood, is still on the military payroll, and banks are turning him away.

    Hasan is currently facing 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of premeditated murder in the shooting that killed and injured unarmed service members and civilians on Nov. 4, 2009.

    The military said that until Hasan is no longer a service member, he will continue to be paid, and that all soldiers who are jailed prior to trial keep their income, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

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    Col. Michael Lembke, III Corps Chaplain's Invocation at Fort Hood memorial Service. (Published Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009)

    "He is a major in the United States Army and will therefore be paid until he is no longer a major," Lt. Col. Chris Garver told ABC News. "So yes, he's still receiving payment."

    Something about that -- especially because he is in the military and not a civilian -- just doesn't seem right. Maybe I am wrong, but if I were in jail awaiting trial on multiple charges of murder, I am pretty sure NBC wouldn't keep paying me and that someone else would be sitting at my desk every morning. Either way, military policy is military policy, and, while sitting in his Bell County jail cell, Hasan will soon have no place to keep or receive his "hard-earned" income -- a figure that the Statesman estimates to be a little more than $6,000 per month based on his age and rank, or about $54,000 of your taxpayer dollars since Nov. 4, the day of the shooting.

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    Last month, Bank of America terminated Hasan's account, according to the United Press International, and his lawyer hasn't been able to find any other bank that will do business with him. According to FoxNews.com, Chase Bank, BBVA Compass Bank, Fort Hood National Bank and the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, all have refused him as client.

    The banks refusing to work with this individual, admittedly, I kind of like. After all, it's their choice who they do business with. The hearts of the bankers are, for once, in the right place.

    But we have to remember what makes our judicial system so great. Hasan hasn't been found guilty of any crime yet, and we should all remember that every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a courtroom -- no matter how difficult that may be for us to wrap our brains around in this particular case, it's still true. It's not right to turn Hasan away while he is still under the presumption of innocence -- and I guess it's right to keep paying him while we wait for trial.

    Hasan's attorney, John Galligan, told the Austin American-Statesman that the problem his client is having cashing his paycheck is a prime example of why he wants his pending trial moved far away from Fort Hood.

    "How do you expect me to get a fair trial at Fort Hood if he can't even get a bank account?" Galligan said.

    Galligan may be right, but I think that is a problem he will find that isn't exclusive to Bell County.

    Hasan's pretrial Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a grand jury hearing for a civilian, is to begin again in October. It originally began on June 1, but was delayed for four months after the defense stated they needed more time for adequate discovery.  The Article 32 hearing is required before a defendant can be put before a general court martial in a military court of law.

    About that checking account -- the military is said to be working with Galligan to find a way to get Hasan his earnings.