Beard Allowed in Fort Hood Massacre Trial

The new trial judge for US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, accused in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, has said Hasan’s decision to wear a beard violates Army regulations, but that’s ok.  Notably:

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, said she won’t hold it against him but that military jurors might.

That, of course, is one of the points raised over the last few months, since a prejudicial jury could be a point of appeal on his part.  In other words, the beard might work against him in the trial, but for him in the long run — particularly if “irregularities” might help him avoid getting executed.

Of course, more than three years after the massacre, Hasan has yet to even have a trial date set.  (His trial has been cited as one reason for the government’s refusal to call the act “terrorism,” for which survivors and their families have now sued.)  By contrast, an enlisted Soldier who said he was inspired by Hasan is already serving his sentence after being convicted.  Former US Army PFC Naser Abdo is serving two life sentences for planning an attack on Fort Hood.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.