Major Hasan Sanctioned For Failing To Shave For Court In Fort Hood Case

Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is facing trial for 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at Fort Hood. Before that trial can occur, however, Hasan is facing a sanction that understandably fails to concentrate his mind as much as the looming death sentence: a second $1000 fine for failing to shave for court. While the military requires personnel to be shaven, Hasan is citing his Islamic faith as requiring him to appear in a beard. He has now been held in contempt of court twice for failing to shave by the judge, Col. Gregory Gross.

Since Hasan is expected to spend the rest of his life in jail or be put to death, a running fine would not appear a significant concern for him. Perhaps for that reason, Gross has threatened that he may order Hasan to be forcibly shaved at some point before his Aug. 20 trial. However, not having Hasan in the courtroom on pre-trial proceedings could create grounds for a later challenge. For that reason, judge, Col. Gregory Gross had Hasan taken to a nearby trailer to watch the proceedings by closed circuit television.

My guess is that a federal court would uphold the forced shaving order as well as the use of close circuit television. There have been a slew of challenges over military grooming and dress requirements. Courts have largely deferred to the military as a matter of good order and discipline in such matters. In Goldman v. Weinberger, 475 U.S. 503 (1986), an Orthodox Jew and ordained rabbi contested an order not to wear a yarmulke while on duty as a commissioned officer in the Air Force at March Air Force Base. The Supreme Court upheld the order (agreeing with the appellate court that reversed a district court order enjoining the order). The Court held:

The desirability of dress regulations in the military is decided by the appropriate military officials, and they are under no constitutional mandate to abandon their considered professional judgment. Quite obviously, to the extent the regulations do not permit the wearing of religious apparel such as a yarmulke, a practice described by petitioner as silent devotion akin to prayer, military life may be more objectionable for petitioner and probably others. But the First Amendment does not require the military to accommodate [475 U.S. 503, 510] such practices in the face of its view that they would detract from the uniformity sought by the dress regulations.

The order to forcibly shave a defendant is clearly problematic, but is likely to be upheld under the same logic. The question is whether the defendant can waive being present in the hearing room and be allowed to keep his beard while watching from a trailer. This would however deny the jury the ability to see the defendant except by way of a television screen. It could also undermine the defense by making the defendant seem more dangerous or remote. What do you think?

Source: USA Today

33 thoughts on “Major Hasan Sanctioned For Failing To Shave For Court In Fort Hood Case”

  1. Can you imagine the replications from the Muslim communities if our Government forcibly shaves this shitbag?! Lets start another war why dont we…waste some more money why dont we. Yes he did it…sentence him…lets not stoop to his level…

  2. Let him keep his beard. He wants to be forcibly shaved. That’s his objective. It won’t play well for the jury if he refuses to shave.

  3. He wants to face his jury. He wants to face his accusors. He wants to confront the witnesses against him face to fact. We have a thing called the Confrontation Clause. Why can he be denied his right to wear his beard? Someone said that they might need to put a gas mask on him for safety reasons. That might be a reason. This is a trial. The judge should shave his own head, his own scrotum, his own legs and demonstrate to all that he is a clean being. Otherwise he is not fit to judge. Thus far he is proven that he is not fit to judge a trial, jury or not jury, of a man for his life. Take it one step further. Why should the

    defendant have to wear some uniform at his trial when he confronts the witnesses against him face to face before a jury of his peers? Why cant he wear a civilian suit and tie?

    Once the court gets to dictate how you appear then they dictate what you say.

    America needs to scrutinze its claim to exceptionalism. All this land of the free and home of the brave crap is just that. This is a Judicial Lynching. Round up a squad and bring the rope. Jury of his peers? Bunch of schmucks who have to shave and show up and say yes sir and not sir and how high do I jump when addressing the witnesses against the defendant, when addressing the judge, when addressing the persecutors.

    This Judge should forget the formalities, Just order the squad, or posse if he so choses to call it that, to take the schmuck out and hang him from the tree.

    -Deutcshland, Deutschland, uber alles.
    -Hotsie totsie, I smell a Nazi.
    -America the beautiful, God shant his grace on thee….

    Fifty years from now historians will give this time period of American Exceptionalism a good hard look. Judicial lynchings will be a topic of much discussion. Shaving some guy each day before his trial will be an interesting tidbit to the review of Pax Americana. Some of the comments on this blog will be sauce for the goose. They might have to use pig latin to sort out some of the censored names or words.

  4. idealist707, Thanks for your wisdom and guidance. I’m not looking to be part of the in crowd, which you were perceptive enough to see. I’m just trying to engage in some intellectually honest debate.

    1. It was both with hubris and presumptious on my part.
      I enjoyed it.

      We have one in particular who will call you on logical fallacies, methods of analysis, poorly based reasoning, personal character expressed in self-aggrandizement, etc. He regards himself as perfect, and trys to assume the role of corrector of all ills.

      Much he comes with is useful. However delivering correction in abusive terms seems unnecessary. And now ignored by myself.

      But such is my fate. Yours will be yours.


      We agree on the best reason to be here.

  5. he’s going to get a fair trial and a legal hanging and he knows it. at this point there’s not much you can make him do.

    hell, put a shock collar on him and have him do tricks for the jury, is that any less moral than waterboarding.

    1. Morals? They disappeared centuries ago.

      Like all in uniform, he should have the dignity to be shot. Clad in orange. I would be glad to pin the white heart on his shirt front.

  6. Nick Spinelli,

    Intellectual giants? Gene H.

    Moral giants? None, although a few pretenders.

    Morals are actually like the Himalayan mountains.
    (ie moral schools and philosophy)

    A few peaks over 8000 meters. Far from each other.
    Equally hard to climb.
    All are debated. The fashion of the times dictate, but do not decide.

    Few attempt. None here. If they do, they do not openly share except in coded messages, if you can detect them.

  7. Nick Spinelli,

    Well, as to Blouise, she generally means well, IMHO.
    But when clattering the heights, it requires you have someone holding your rope. And she is dependent on that, as are all who aspire to belong to the in group here. Take her heed. I did not.

    Intellect can be used in so many ways. Here it is generally expended in exhibitions of bravado. ego trippism, and some honest efforts to say something of importance. Other times it is mostly spent in smoozing, strokes and counter strokes, etc. Which I am slowly realizing is what we humans like doing.
    Some even snuffle under each others tails. Smile! Like lions.

    Morals. Not so much here.

    Ethics? Morals? Religion?
    Very difficult subjects. Legal is legal, as I have learned here. Fair is fair, but not legal.

    God can not be demonstrated. Nor that he is good, or created a good world, bad world, etc etc.
    (just now reading Hitchen’s Portable Atheist).

    So think it is not a subject that attracts them.

    But if you took a minor in philosophy, watch out for the logician here.

    Wish I had taken your degree. Although engineering has been fun too.

    Thanks for the confidence you gave.

    1. JS.

      Good advice. We may not be giants. And besides who cares what Jesus said today. Very few. So who cares what the top dogs say here—-except themselves as ranking points. Interesting, occasionally. Important, seldom. But can be soul piercing if you have an opening. But that depends on you.

      Bed time here. Bye bye.


  8. Idealist707, Double major, Criminal Justice and History/Education. Minor in Philosophy. And I like to assume the best of folks. But, i’ve been told “I’m out of my league” by Blouise. So…I’m treading carefully among the intellectual and moral giants.

  9. Nick,

    Hope you take my quip in with the warm heart it was written.

    Did you get a PhD in Social Science, with thesis: “Penal Abuse; Corporeal versus Psychic Methods”

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