A former U.S. soldier sentenced to death for killing two fellow soldiers and injuring 14 others in an attack in Kuwait is pinning his hopes of staying alive on an argument jurors should have never seen his diary.
Attorneys for 43-year-old Hasan K. Akbar argued on Tuesday that the one-time sergeant’s writings, which include details of how he converted to radical Islam, were so inflammatory, that without the proper context, jurors were most likely to focus on the most damaging parts while considering whether to impose a death sentence.
“They didn’t present the information in any meaningful way,” said Lt. Col. John Potter, a military lawyer arguing the case for Akbar before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington.
Akbar was with the 326th Engineer Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, when he was sentenced to death in 2005. He killed Army Capt. Christopher S. Seifert and Air Force Maj. Gregory L. Stone in Kuwait two years earlier during the early days of the Iraq war.