Former AG Explains Why He'd Take On Hasan's Case, Says He Still - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Former AG Explains Why He'd Take On Hasan's Case, Says He Still Might

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The big name attorney who has offered to represent the accused Fort Hood shooter says not to count him out just yet.

Army Psychiatrist Nidal Hasan faces 45 charges for the November 5, 2009, shooting rampage that killed 12 soldiers and a veteran and wounded 32 others.

Last week, Hasan told a military judge he decided not to hire former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark to represent him, but Clark says that might change.

Clark is a lifelong death penalty opponent and met with Hasan three days in a row last week to discuss his offer to take on his case.

He says he extended the offer primarily because, "It would be hard to underestimate the international implications in this case and the relationship between Muslims, and Christians, and others that is so important to the hope for peace."

During their talks, Clark says Hasan told him he wanted to conduct panel selection himself.

"He has things he wants to say, points of view he wants to get across during the vior dire," said Clark.

Clark says that doesn't necessarily mean Hasan will still represent himself when the August 6, court martial begins, and that it's "open depending on how things develop."

Clark said, "I'll try to be available, and if he decides he wants me, I'll come in and help defend him."

Clark, the U.S. Attorney General under LBJ's administration, has represented several controversial defendants, including Saddam Hussein.

"The guy has represented some extremely high profile people around the country, he knows what he's talking about and what he's doing, and he's raised the 'defense of others' in some of these cases before," said Military Law Expert Brad Glendening.

The question now is whether Clark can prepare meaningful representation in just three weeks.

"He could do it tomorrow, if he wanted to, but he would probably be violating the rules of professional responsibility in doing so," said Glendening.

When asked if he could be ready to defend Hasan by August 6, Clark said, "I'd have to hustle to do so, but I think I could, yeah."

At this time Clark does not have any future meetings planned with Hasan.

So far, 10 of the 12-16 military jurors needed in this case have been selected.

Six more potential panel members will be questioned by Hasan, the prosecution and the judge Monday.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Chris Buford cbuford@kcentv.com

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