Court says Fort Hood suspect can be forcibly shaved

By ANGELA K. BROWN

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 12:50 a.m. MDT

This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. An Army appeals court will hear arguments Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 about whether Hasan will be required to have his beard shaved before his court-martial, an issue that has indefinitely postponed his murder trial. Hasan argues that the order violates his religious rights.

Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

FORT HOOD, Texas — An Army appeals court has ruled that the Fort Hood shooting suspect can have his facial hair forcibly shaved off before his murder trial.

The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals' opinion issued Thursday upheld the military trial judge's decision to order Maj. Nidal Hasan to appear in court clean shaven or be forcibly shaved.

It also ruled that Col. Gregory Gross, the judge, properly found that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn't give Hasan the right to have a beard while in uniform at trial.

Hasan has said the beard is an expression of his Muslim faith. His attorneys say they'll appeal the ruling.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post that killed 13.

— Associated Press

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