King Joins Legislators in Calling on Army to Recognize Hasan’s Unborn Victim

December 14, 2009

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In light of reports that Private Francheska Velez was pregnant when she was shot and killed by Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood Military Base, State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) has joined with thirty of his conservative colleagues in the Texas Legislature in calling for the United States Army to charge Major Hasan for taking the life of an unborn child, in addition to the existing thirteen charges of premeditated murder.

King, a member of the Texas Conservative Coalition, stated, “We were all shocked and appalled at the senseless tragedy that Major Hasan unleashed at Fort Hood. For justice to be fully won, the death of an innocent, unborn child must be reflected in the legal charges against Major Hasan.”

The TCC letter cites the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), as amended by the 2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Furthermore, in 2003, the Texas Legislature enacted Senate Bill 319, which provides that a person who commits an offense that results in harm to, or the death of a fetus can be prosecuted in generally the same manner as an offense committed against an individual.

The TCC letter, which was signed by 31 members of the Texas Legislature, reads:

“We believe that the murder of Private Velez’s unborn child must be prosecuted… 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.”

King continued, “It is imperative that our laws and system of justice value the life of Private Velez’s innocent unborn child just the same as they value the lives of Major Hasan’s thirteen other victims.” King concluded, “We hope the Army will answer our call to make the charges against Major Hasan fully reflect the extent of his horrific crime.”