Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan. (By Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram/AP)
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - An Army appeals court has ruled that the Fort Hood shooting suspect can have his facial hair forcibly shaved off before his murder trial.
The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals' opinion issued Thursday upheld the military trial judge's decision to order Maj. Nidal Hasan to appear in court clean shaven or be forcibly shaved. It also ruled that Col. Gregory Gross, the judge, properly found that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn't give Hasan the right to have a beard while in uniform at trial.
Hasan has said the beard is an expression of his Muslim faith. His attorneys say they'll appeal the ruling.
Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post that killed 13.
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