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In a sig­nal that Army psy­chi­a­trist Maj. Ni­dal Hasan might be al­lowed to keep his beard dur­ing his up­com­ing court-mar­tial, the newly ap­pointed mil­i­tary judge in the Fort Hood shoot­ing case asked de­fense at­tor­neys to draw up in­struc­tions to po­ten­tial ju­rors re­gard­ing the beard, which vi­o­lates Army groom­ing reg­u­la­tions. Such in­struc­tions would likely ask ju­rors not to hold Hasan’s ap­pear­ance against him in de­ter­min­ing a ver­dict.

Rob Turk: Se­ri­ously… it’s a beard. If he’s guilty, ex­e­cute him. If he com­mit­ted the crime, and in this case it’s an of­fi­cer of the U.S. Army killing sub­or­di­nates, then it’s a cap­i­tal of­fense.

Heather Ken­ley: Good. Keep it mov­ing.

An­drew Gold­berg: Yeah, leave the beard alone, he’s just ask­ing to be mar­tyred over that, don’t give him what he wants. AL­LOW the beard and pros­e­cute the crimes.

Mark Gre­jda: He’s still in the mil­i­tary and beards are against their rules. That’s why this is a mess. They have the right to sit him in a chair and shave it off just like they do your head in ba­sic train­ing.

Cliff An­der­son: Hasan’s lawyers are play­ing a Catch22 game. If he is forced to shave it, they will say the judge is prej­u­diced. If the judge doesn’t they will say the jury was. It is a de­lay tac­tic.

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