The new judge in the trial of Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan has taken only two weeks since replacing the previous judge – who was thrown off the case by the military’s highest court after ruling Hasan would have to be shaved – to rule that Hasan will be allowed to keep his beard during the trial.
Via the AP:
The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage apparently will be allowed to keep his beard during his military trial, after a new judge indicated Tuesday that she won’t force him to shave.
The previous judge’s order requiring Maj. Nidal Hasan to be clean-shaven or be forcibly shaved before his trial had tied up the case for more than three months, but an appeals court ousted that judge earlier this month.
The new judge overseeing Hasan’s case told him during a hearing Tuesday that the beard, now thicker than when he first appeared in court with it in June, violates Army regulations. The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, said she won’t hold it against him but that military jurors might.
Hasan answered “yes, ma’am” when Osborn asked if he grew the beard voluntarily. In a previous court hearing, he said he grew the beard because his Muslim faith requires it and not as a show of disrespect. Osborn asked defense attorneys to draft jury instructions about the issue. Jurors likely will be told not to consider Hasan’s appearance when deciding on a verdict.
Did you catch that last part. Hasan did not mean to show disrespect?!
After several months of wrangling between prosecutors, defense attorneys for Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan, and the military judge over whether the jihadist should be forcibly shaved, the judge was removed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces on December 4th.
By December 18th, the new judge ruled that the beard could stay, despite the fact that it violates strict military code.
One is left to conclude that a jihadist who murdered 14 people (including one unborn child) and injured 32 others has more rights than members of the military with the highest honors.
It is obvious that the Military’s highest court did not respect the decision of Col. Gregory Gross, despite the fact that the military judge was following military code. Ironically, that court ruled that Gross be removed because he didn’t appear impartial. Conversely, the Military’s highest court does not see the new judge (Osborn) the same way. Yet, based on her thumbing her nose at the Military code, it’s obvious that it is Osborn who is not impartial.
The mask of impartiality is also off the highest military’s highest court.
A question remains, however: What would cause the highest military court to violate military code?
Perhaps that is a question for the Commander-in-Chief.