"You should not punish him for his religion, you should punish him for his crimes," he added.
Inside the courtroom, widows and mothers wiped tears from their eyes throughout the oral presentation. Hasan remained stoic as usual, looking mainly at photos of victims on his monitor screen during closing, occasionally glancing at Mulligan addressing the panel.
He stroked his beard and wiped his nose repeatedly with a tissue.
'He only dealt in death'
Outside of brief comments at the beginning of the court-martial four weeks ago, where he admitted being the lone gunman, the defendant has not put on much of a case.
That left the government alone Wednesday to summarize the incident and the impact on the survivors, families of victims, and Fort Hood community.
"Death. He was trained as doctor to save lives, but on 5 November 2009, he only dealt in death," Mulligan said. The prosecutor tied the narrative together with a unifying theme: the separate teams of two officers in Class-A uniforms who knocked on the doors of the victim's families across the country to deliver the sad news.
Mulligan also recounted graphic details of the carnage inside Station 13, Room 42003 of the medical readiness center, where the victims were preparing for their military deployments overseas.
Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, was shot four times and, from her nursing training, knew she was dying from internal bleeding. "She had just a few minutes to pass on one final message: 'Tell my family I love them.' "
For the widow of Spc. Jason Hunt, the subsequent emotional pain has been tough. "Grief is a personal emotion," Mulligan said. "Hers led her to the depths of suicide and back." Jennifer Hunt told the panel Monday she is raising her three children alone.
Hasan had indicated he wanted his service record, his lack of a previous criminal record and his psychological evaluations kept under wraps. Speaking in a clear voice from his wheelchair, Hasan dismissed the ex parte actions by his "overzealous defense counsel."
After weeks of mostly silence in his defense, Hasan had little more to say this week in the capital sentencing phase of his court-martial, telling the jury panel Tuesday three short words: "The defense rests."
His brief remarks produced a gasp in the courtroom.
The panel of senior officers last week convicted the defendant on all counts of premeditated murder from the incident at the deployment processing center on this sprawling U.S. Army base. Hasan was wounded in the attacks and remains a paraplegic.
The defendant called no witnesses and presented no documentary evidence on why he should not die for his crimes. He also offered no explanation for his refusal to mount any defense in either the trial or sentencing phases. Judge Tara Osborn, an Army colonel, reluctantly granted his wishes, again telling Hasan, "You're the captain of your own ship."
Appeals could take years
If swift justice is the goal, history may not be on Hasan's or the government's side. The last military execution was in 1961, and only five servicemen face lethal injection. Three are African-American, two are white.
The mandatory appellate process could take years, even if Hasan voluntarily foregoes many of the procedural steps available to any defense.
President George W. Bush signed a death warrant in 2008 for Ronald Gray, a former Army specialist convicted in the military system of several spree killings. His scheduled execution was stayed, and the case remains under appeal.
The military has its own legal standards and procedures when trying and appealing capital cases. The U.S. Supreme Court gets the final say, if any petition reaches that far. Of the 11 military death sentences that have completed direct appeal, nine (82%) have been reversed.