Saturday, January 23, 2010


It is disturbing to read about the number of fatalities as being 13 in the Fort Hood massacre, when in fact the number is more accurately 14. On November 5, 2009, terrorist, Nidal Malik Hasan, executed a massacre of Fort Hood soldiers, killing 13 and wounding 30 while proclaiming "Allah Akbar! Included in the 13 was Private Francheska Velez, 21, who was three months pregnant and preparing to return home to Chicago from a tour of duty in Iraq. She was due home by December to begin her maternity leave.

Now that this terrorist has been charged with 13 counts of murder, the number needs to be corrected to include this unborn child. In a note from, a group of Texas legislators has asked the Secretary of the Army to confirm whether Velez was pregnant, and if she was, to prosecute Hasan for 14 murders rather than 13.

We thought you might be interested in seeing the excellent letter that these legislators have sent to the Secretary of the Army.....

You may want to contact the Texas legislators listed in the letter and send them a note of thanks (you may find contact information for them on the Texas House of Representatives site).

The letter is signed by 31 State Representatives and states:

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.

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.