Last Updated:October 19 @ 10:11 pm

Judge: Fort Hood suspect's beard disrupts court

By Angela K. Brown

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A judge has the right to order an Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage to be forcibly shaved before his murder trial, military attorneys told an appeals court Wednesday.

The attorneys, in a document filed on behalf of Col. Gregory Gross, contend that forcibly shaving Maj. Nidal Hasan would not violate the American-born Muslim's religious freedoms and said it is similar to "and no more invasive than" a judge's right to restrain a defendant who is disruptive during a court-martial.

"Forced shaving is not a novel concept in the military," military attorneys said in the judge's response filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. "Army regulations expressly authorize nonconsensual haircutting and face-shaving for recalcitrant incarcerated soldiers. ... If the judge has authority to bind and gag a disruptive accused (soldier), then certainly he has authority to forcibly shave (Hasan)."

Last week that appeals court delayed Hasan's court-martial, which had been set to start earlier this week with jury selection, while it considers his appeal to being forcibly shaved. Now that the judge has responded, the court can make a decision or choose to hear oral arguments in the case first.

Hasan has grown a beard to express his Muslim faith. His defense attorneys have said he won't shave since he's had a premonition that his death is imminent, and he doesn't want to die without a beard because he believes not having one is a sin.

Hasan faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted in the November 2009 attack on the Texas Army post that killed 13 people and wounded more than two dozen others.

Gross has banned Hasan from courtroom hearings since he first showed up in court in June with a beard, letting him watch the proceedings on a closed-circuit television in a nearby room. But Gross said Hasan will be forcibly shaved before the trial if he doesn't shave himself. The judge has said he wants Hasan in attendance during the court-martial to prevent a possible appeal on the issue if he is convicted.

Gross' response also told the appeals court that his order does not violate Hasan's religious freedoms. Army rules prohibit beards, and those who join the military have agreed to give up certain personal interests over the needs of the service to maintain good order, discipline and security, according to the document.

In urging the court to deny Hasan's appeal and to allow the trial to proceed, Gross' response said that his order to forcibly shave Hasan ensures "that a military trial proceeds without a distracting and disruptive sideshow featuring an officer-accused flagrantly disrespecting the Army, his superiors, and the military judge."

The trial is expected to last more than two months at Fort Hood, about 125 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

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79 Comments

  1. JoJoComment by JoJo
    August 22, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    Well isnt that just great! Lt Col Lskin has as well a a young sergeant Terry ( I do not remember if this name is right but I think all will remember whom I am referring to) were sanctioned and lost their benefits, which they are rightfully entitled to for expressing their 1st amendment rights but this Islamic terrorist cannot be forcibly have his beard shaven. What the heck is going on in the military??? No illegal command, I do not care where it came from, is treason as well. He may sit in our White House but he IS NOT God!

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      August 22, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

      “He may sit in our White House but he IS NOT God!”

      I don’t understand your comment about “sitting in our White House”. I don’t see anywhere in this article that Obama was mentioned. Has he tried to get involved in this case?

      “Army rules prohibit beards, and those who join the military have agreed to give up certain personal interests over the needs of the service to maintain good order, discipline and security”

      This Muslim shaved his face and put on a military uniform. He knew the rules when he joined the Army, and he never wore a beard on active duty. He is still on active duty and therefore knows the beard is not allowed.

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    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

      What’s going on is our elected officials tippy-toeing around people who state their are Muslim, for fear of offending them! Too bad, in this case! Our laws were good enough for him when he joined the military, and they are good enough now! I don’t care if he had a “premonition” of his death being imminent! He’s still under military jurisdiction and regulations say he has given up the right to have a beard.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (64 votes cast)
    • sistertereseComment by sisterterese
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

      I believe that the military court ruled that it COULD forcibly shave this miscreant.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (41 votes cast)
    • agilebulletdodgerComment by agilebulletdodger
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

      Something is really bothering me about this… so if I break it down this way; Hasan, a devout Muslim, shoots 45 people, killing 13 and seriously injuring 32, is not indicted but goes under psych evaluation for nearly 3 years (Nov 2009) and is probably collecting a paycheck from the US Army during this time. He had been written up as a potential threat long before the incident occurred yet his superiors chose to ignore it. Why can’t we put him on the same fast track as Holmes in Aurora Co and call it done?

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (55 votes cast)
    • xman3Comment by xman3
      August 22, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

      Yes JoJo, Lt.Col. Lakin did not receive a fair trial over a valid concern of his and many American Citizens regarding Obama being a legitimate President. We will all remember this come November 6th. Lakin took a hard hit financially and I hope he and is family are doing well.
      - An aside, isn’t it true that some soldiers in Afganistan and Iraq are allowed to wear a beard, so as to ‘fit in’ with the culture?
      - The beard issue is a no-never-mind to me . . . . just fry the Muslim sleeper bast**d.
      - In 2012, don’t believe the media. If one votes for a Democrat (or Rino) at any level of Government – Federal, State or Local, that person may be an idiot.
      - Vote for the most Constitutional, Conservative, Christian and Candidate with the most American Values in all elections.

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    • xman3Comment by xman3
      August 22, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      Yes Agilebulletdodger, and the Obama Government said this was a ‘workplace violence incident’, not terriorism! Remember come Nov. 6th.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (51 votes cast)
    • theoldsargeComment by theoldsarge
      August 22, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

      The only difference between God and Obama is, that God doesn’t think he is Obama.

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (12 votes cast)
  2. nickster99Comment by nickster99
    August 22, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    I will shave him! Just tie the SOB down. If he jumps around? Oh well? Nothing a few stitches cant fix!

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 22, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

      You are welcome to borrow my Great Grand Father’s straight razor!

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (26 votes cast)
  3. JoJoComment by JoJo
    August 22, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Hey, I wonder when Ozero is going to grow his beard??

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    • cxComment by genesal
      August 22, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

      When he get’s old enough.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      August 22, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

      Besides the testosterone hasn’t kicked in yet.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (31 votes cast)
    • Jack ReacherComment by Jack Reacher
      August 22, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

      Obama needs to grow a pair before even thinking about growing some , Muslim terrorist beard.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (32 votes cast)
    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

      when his estrogen level drops.

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      Rating: 3.9/5 (23 votes cast)
  4. wedeyComment by wedey
    August 22, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    They ought to hold him down and shave him or either that put a pig in a cell with him. Let him have his choice. I am quite frankly sick of this nonsense.

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    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

      He said he had a premonition that his death is imminent! I agree with the pig in the cell, and then, when he dies it won’t make a difference if he’s bearded or not.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (27 votes cast)
  5. wedeyComment by wedey
    August 22, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    to Jo Jo – more important, when Is O going to develop some *****.

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    Rating: 4.4/5 (21 votes cast)
    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

      When Michelle lets him have them!

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (23 votes cast)
  6. Jerry SmithComment by Jerry Smith
    August 22, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    Shouldn’t this muslim dirt bag have been hanged two years ago?

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (69 votes cast)
    • cxComment by genesal
      August 22, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

      He should have been fired from the army. (with real bullets).

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (50 votes cast)
    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

      Firing squad is cheaper!

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (23 votes cast)
  7. RME KRNLComment by RME KRNL
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Since he’s still (disgustingly) in the Army, which doesn’t allow beards, (1) forcibly shave him (as often as necessary), (2) try him, (3) convict him, (4) sentence him to death, (5) dishonorably discharge him from the Army, (6) let him grow his “holy beard” back, and (7) hang him until he stops dancing in air. Solution in seven straightforward steps.

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    • sistertereseComment by sisterterese
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

      Mmmm…you forgot something…wrap him in bacon before he hangs.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (29 votes cast)
    • therealhawkmanComment by therealhawkman
      August 27, 2012 @ 10:31 am

      @ sisterterese:
      Come now. Where is your kindness and forgiveness. After all, he is a member of the religion of peace. Would he not give you the same courtesy? LOL! Like H3LL he would.

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  8. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    He should be shaved, busted in rank for disobeying a direct order, just like any enlisted man would have. It’s a sin to him not to have a beard, but okay to murder innocent people? What a crock. An example needs to made of him, just like the looney toon in Colorado. This stuff happens because they won’t deal with it. Now you know why they should not ever try these lunatics anywhere other than in Gitmo.

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (58 votes cast)
  9. dthur1003Comment by dthur1003
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Why the HELL is everyone having such a fit about this animals beard ????

    If the “judge” is holding up this trial on this kind of technicality what other BS will it be held up for ???

    Let him keep the beard, it won’t matter one bit if he has a beard or not when he’s getting his lethal injection !

    Everyday he remains in prison and his trail is delayed is cost the American taxpayer money…my money…your money !

    GET THIS OVER WITH…STOP THE BS AND TRY THE PRISONER !

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    • therealhawkmanComment by therealhawkman
      August 27, 2012 @ 10:38 am

      The judge is doing everything he can to ensure this piece of garbage has nothing to fall back on to prevent the outcome he knows is coming. The judge knew he could have forced the piece of **** to shave or have him shaved, but determined the best course was to allow the appeals court their say and then respond with the correct Military Regulation and under the UCMJ. He did right.

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  10. nalaComment by nala
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    Of course the big disconnect here is this:
    Dying without his beard would be a (Islam) sin but
    Killing 13 and wounding others is apparently… a virtue…?

    After the beardless trial, after they confirm that this is the same guy that murdered 13 with no beard, give the guy two days to get a stuble back and then fry him. Then distribute all the back pay this major has been paid while waiting trial to the victims. The irony of all this is stunning.

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (42 votes cast)
  11. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    Spare the expenses of a trial – just shoot him. He is guilty as hell and belongs there.

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (29 votes cast)
    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      August 22, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

      (Self-deleted. I can’t contain my anger over this whole thing).

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (20 votes cast)
  12. bna42Comment by bna42
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    The commander-in-chief shows a favoritism to Muslims, and therefore the Army wants to be very cautious about this trial. They don’t want anything to be construed as unfair or grounds for appeal. But if Hasan is a good Muslim, he should welcome the death penalty because it will be seen as martydom. I just hope they give him the death penalty rather than life in the stockade, because I believe Obama would pardon him and release him if he isn’t put to death before that opportunity arises.

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (44 votes cast)
    • sistertereseComment by sisterterese
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

      The occupant of the White House (as he is NO commander to me) shows favoritism toward muslims BECAUSE HE IS A CLOSET MUSLIM! He just doesn’t have the “character” (for want of other–more descriptive words) to admit it. The peacock strutting around the White House making proclamations of what America is and is not is a COWARD just like the cowards who murdered 3,000 innocent American lives on 9/11…lest we forget.

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    • sheeterangelComment by sheeterangel
      August 22, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

      Had to reply to sisterterese: Agree agree and another thing, 3,000 innocent people murdered by muslims and what do we do? Put a Muslim in the white House. What happened to us??????????

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      Rating: 4.1/5 (21 votes cast)
  13. sparkyvaComment by sparkyva
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    Under the military code, this man could be put before a firing squad for his crimes for a soldier’s death. If he does not wish to shave, then don’t give him the honor of a soldier’s death. Hang him just like James Brown was for murdering soldiers at Harper’s Ferry. And bury him in an unmarked grave just like Brown.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

      That’s John Brown. James Brown was writing “Soul Man” at the time. :D

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (17 votes cast)
  14. jerrylauryComment by jerrylaury
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

    Did I read this article right? That scumbag won’t remove his beard because it would be sin? Obviously in this man’s warped and evil religion killing13 unarmed fellow soldiers is not. After all, that’s what good muslims are supposed to do.

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  15. ncbigmouthComment by ncbigmouth
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    Did this *** shave while active? YES. He is just being defiant. Tell him shave it or some of his victims’ relatives will gladly do it! It’s ridiculous for the Judge to let him hold up the trial. Get on with it! Let’s roll!

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  16. Allen SchubertComment by Allen Schubert
    August 22, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    Good grief! Let’s get on with it and hang this scum already!

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

      Hanging’s too good for him. I have a few tortures in mind, but I don’t want to get too graphic here.

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (14 votes cast)
  17. Comment by Anonymous
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    The slime ball did not mind shaving so he could infiltrate the military and murder everyone he could. SHAVE HIM WITH A DULL POCKET KNIFE.

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  18. lowlifeComment by lowlife
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    The legal system in this country has gone insane, both military and civilian. It has evolved into a full-employment welfare program for lawyers, allowing endless appeals and motions over nonsensical issues and ignoring the only relevent question, which is guilt, or innocence. There needs to be a total rewrite of the laws and rules of court procedure, with a focus on presenting all the available and pertinent evidence (not just what the prosecution, or defense thinks will help their case) and finding out, as much as possible, exactly what transpired.

    In cases such as this, where there is no question of what happened, or who was responsible, there is no reason for a long, expensive trial, bogged down in peripheral nonsense. The proper procedure here would be something along the line of what is portrayed as justice in the old west, with a trial in the morning and a hanging in the public square at noon (with, or without beard).

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  19. anne01Comment by anne01
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    I pretty much agree with everyone… shave the SOB and get it the hell over-with.

    And I’m almost looking forward to the outrage we’ll see from the muslims.

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  20. sistertereseComment by sisterterese
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    So, let me get this straight: It is a sin to die without a beard, but it is apparently NOT a sin to kill innocent human beings….well, THAT makes logical sense, doesn’t it?? And THAT is precisely why most of us are totally confused about what the muslim faith is truly all about.

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    • anne01Comment by anne01
      August 22, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

      sister: Yeah, something like that… Go figure.

      Actually, there’s nothing confusing about the muslim faith… they’re killers and butchers.

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  21. passthewordComment by passtheword
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    Why wasn’t his shooting/murdering innocent people classified as a terrorist act?

    Yet, the incident at the FRC where the young man shot the guard was.

    Sharia LAw coming to your neighborhood sonner than you think.

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  22. anne01Comment by anne01
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    passtheword: Excellent question that anyone with any common sense and logic has been asking since Obozo and Napolitano insisted it was a “workplace” incident.

    And no, sharia law isn’t “coming” to your neighborhood, it’s already here. And the only way to get rid of it is to cut it out, like the cancer it is.

    Kind of how we have to make sure we cut (vote) out the muslim in our White House.

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  23. mvotano58Comment by mvotano58
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    No matter what we think we are all entitled to “due process”. No judge wants a verdict overturned and not being in the courtroom to face his accusers, a right guaranteed under the constitution even for the military, could therefore be grounds for appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Talk about money and delaying pain for the survivors and victim’s families’ and considering the recent record of SCOTUS I can understand why the judge wants all the “i”s dotted and the “t”s crossed.

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  24. copakemanComment by copakeman
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    if his religion is so important to him, why didnt he have a beard prior to his massacre of American soldiers ?

    serve him only bacon at every meal.
    he has 3 choices: eat
    shave his beard off
    starve to death for allah

    choice #3 is the best one.

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  25. jerrylauryComment by jerrylaury
    August 22, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    The trial is expected to last two months? Over what? The evidence is in. We know the killer and we know his motive’s.This country has gone insane. The so called trial is just another media circus for a dumbed down audience put on by this country’s establishment, all of whom belong in jail along with Hasan.

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