Some military law experts say multiple victims play a key role in whether service personnel are prosecuted for capital crimes. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty last month to killing 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar in 2012, thereby avoiding the death penalty.
Procedures were revised significantly in 1984 after a military appeals court concluded application of the death penalty in that venue was unconstitutional. That led to even fewer capital cases moving forward.
Some Fort Hood victim family members believe justice someday will be served.
"He will pay for what he did," said Jerri Krueger, mother of Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, gunned down as she tried to crawl away from the barrage of gunfire at the processing center.
The Hasan prosecution noted the heroism of three victims, whose despite their wounds, tried to charge the gunman. Cahill was shot six times but managed to fling a chair at Hasan before succumbing. Capt. John Gaffaney, 54, and Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, also were cited.
Greene was shot a dozen times, more than any victim. "What infuriated his murderer so much that he nearly emptied half his clip" on one soldier, Mulligan said. "He died in dynamic engagement."
Greene left behind a wife and two daughters.