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Judge: Fort Hood suspect’s beard disrupts court

FORT WORTH — A judge has the right to order an Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage to be forcibly shaved before his murder trial, military lawyers told an appeals court Wednesday.

The lawyers, in a document filed to military judge Colonel Gregory Gross, contend that forcibly shaving Major Nidal Hasan would not violate the American-born Muslim’s religious freedoms and said it is similar to ‘‘and no more invasive than’’ a judge’s right to restrain a defendant who is disruptive during a court-martial.

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Hasan’s lawyers have said he will not shave because he has had a premonition that his death is imminent, and he doesn’t want to die without a beard because he believes not having one is a sin.

Hasan is charged in the November 2009 attack on the Texas Army post that killed 13 people, and he could face the death penalty if convicted.

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