I will try to explain as best as I know.
The Ft Hood shooter was a military man and therefore is subjected to the military code of Justice (MCJ or MJC). They are subjected to specific laws related to military operations, and their interaction with civilian laws.s
Now you have these guys in Boston.
They are citizens of the U.S. - and therefor protected by Constitutional rights. However, these rights can be suspended either permanently or temporarily under certain conditions as indicated by anti terror legislation passed after 9/11.
In other words we (the AG) has the choice but it is a limited choice.
First and foremost they are citizens - not military personnel so it boils down to terrorist or not?
Anti combatants used to be defined as enemy soldiers but after 9/11 that "COULD NOW INCLUDE" terrorists.
Indications are that these guys may have acted alone - with the older brother driven to this by secular Islamic beliefs turning him Anti-American. The younger brother is believed to have followed his older brother - as is required by fundamentalist Islamics - who believe older is wiser and therefore the oldest brother is the wisest in the family when the father is not around.
So it boils down to terrorists or mass murders?
Since they killed ONE LEO and critically wounded another it's a capital crime no matter what.
In my simple mind it gets to which book do we throw at them?
And who throws the switch on the electric chair?
But in the Ft Hood case the Military Code of Justice does not recognize terrorist as the MCJ is separate law, applicable to military personnel only (I think)
Clear as mud?
It is to me too!
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