Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Army judge thrown off Ft. Hood shooting rampage case

Killeen - Citing an “appearance of bias,” the nation's highest military court removed Col. Gregory Gross from the murder trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan.

The Court stopped short of ruling late Monday evening on whether the Major should be required to shave his beard in order to stand trial for the murder of 13 persons and wounding more than two dozen with a powerful handgun.

The command is responsible for the officer's grooming, not the judge, according to the military appeals panel.

All litigation regarding Army regulations and facial hair should begin anew when a new judge is appointed.

Col. Gross has cited the accused gunman with contempt of court 6 times and had him removed to a remote trailer to watch proceedings on a closed circuit television due to his defiance in the matter of his beard. Maj. Hasan says his Islamic faith requires him to affect a beard. He is a psychiatrist who was assigned to counsel combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan regarding their war time experiences.

The judges ruled that though the Religious Freedoms doctrine stops short of allowing a defiance of Army grooming regulations, they are unclear as to why the accused mass murderer cannot receive a fair trial with, or without his beard.

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