Thursday, August 16, 2012

Beard causes trial delay, call goes out for barbers

Prosecutors of Major Hasan say Islam had nothing to do with the murders, and his defense lawyer says his beard is part of his religion and a sin to die without it.  A strange paradigm; one would think it should be the other way around.

From Google News August 15

Fort Hood suspect's trial on hold over beard

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — For the past two months, the military judge presiding over the high-profile case of the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage has said he wanted to avoid disruptions in court.

So after Maj. Nidal Hasan showed up for a June pretrial hearing wearing a beard, a violation of Army regulations, Col. Gregory Gross banned him from the courtroom until he shaves.

Now Hasan's facial hair has become a bigger disruption than anyone might have foreseen. All hearings and the murder trial, set to start next week, were put on hold Wednesday while an appeals court considers Hasan's objections to being forcibly shaved.

The delay is frustrating for many involved in the case, although some victims' relatives say they have grown accustomed to waiting for the trial to start. It's been almost three years since the shooting rampage left 13 dead and more than two dozen wounded on the Texas Army post.

"I stopped holding my breath a long time ago as far as expecting to get any closure regarding the trial," said Leila Hunt Willingham, whose brother Jason Dean "J.D." Hunt was among those killed Nov. 5, 2009.

Gross has not allowed Hasan to stay in the courtroom, saying the beard is a disruption. However, in late July Gross said he wanted Hasan in the room during the court-martial to prevent a possible appeal on the issue if he is convicted. He said Hasan would be forcibly shaved before the trial if he didn't shave the beard himself.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, won't shave because the beard is an expression of his faith, defense attorneys have said. Hasan also has had a premonition that his death is imminent, his attorneys said.

"He does not wish to die without a beard as he believes not having a beard is a sin," one of Hasan's attorneys wrote in his appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Hasan faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted. No military death-row inmates have been executed since 1961.

Read more here.

Time for an update.  Read it all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What does it matter..let the murderer have the beard, his neck will stretch with one or without..or does the military still use the firing squad..that would work just as well, heck with death by injection..he needs to know its coming..not like his victims.