The Honorable John McHugh Secretary of the Army
Department of the Army1400 Defense Pentagon Washington DC 20301-1400
Dear Secretary McHugh:
As Texas state legislators, we would like to express our gratitude to you for your department’s work investigating the shootings perpetrated by Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood Military Base. Your personal attention to the investigation is appreciated by us and the Texans we represent in the State Legislature.
We understand that Major Hasan will be tried in a military court martial and that he will be charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). We respectfully request that an additional charge be brought under Article 119(a) of UCMJ if it is finally determined that one of the victims, Private Francheska Velez, was pregnant at the time of the shootings.
Specifically, Article 119(a), UCMJ provides that:
(1) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this section and shall, upon conviction, be punished by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct, which shall be consistent with the punishments prescribed by the President for that conduct had that injury or death occurred to the unborn child’s mother.
(2) An offense under this section does not require proof that–
(i) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying offense was pregnant; or
(ii) the accused intended to cause the death of, or bodily injury to, the unborn child.
We believe that the murder of Private Velez’s unborn child must be prosecuted under this section of UCMJ. Indeed, such action would underscore the fundamental point that unborn children must be afforded the same legal protections against offenses that can be committed against individuals, such as homicide.
(italics and bold by blog author)
In 2003, the Texas Legislature enacted Senate Bill 319 (78R), which we strongly support. The legislation provided that a person who commits an offense that results in harm to or the death of an individual who is an unborn child can be prosecuted in generally the same manner as an offense committed against an individual who is born. The law is in keeping with the value that we place on the sanctity of all human life, including the lives of unborn children. Charging Major Hasan with the murder of Private Velez’s unborn child under Article 119(a), UCMJ would be in keeping with the spirit of state law in Texas.
Thank you again for your leadership during this difficult time for our nation; we greatly appreciate your department’s response to the shootings at Fort Hood military base.
Sincerely, State Representative Wayne Christian, State Representative Linda Harper-Brown, House District 105 – Irving, State Representative Allen Fletcher, etc.
This letter was signed by many legislators, the list which can be seen at David Barton’s website www.wallbuilders.com