Army Shaves Fort Hood Killer, Faces Lawsuit

Hasan's lawyer plans to sue, calls it a 'vindictive act'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2013 2:42 AM CDT
Updated Sep 4, 2013 1:07 PM CDT
Army Confiscates Beard of Fort Hood Killer
This August 23 courtroom sketch shows Hasan as the guilty verdict is read at his court martial in Fort Hood, Texas.    (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley, File)

The beard that delayed Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan's trial for months has been forcibly removed at Fort Leavenworth, where he is one of six prisoners on military death row. The Army psychiatrist, who called the beard a "deeply sincere" symbol of his Islamic faith, began growing it after killing 13 people in the November 2009 shooting. An Army spokesman says Hasan was shaved at the prison, where officials had previously said he would be subject to military grooming regulations, the AP reports.

But that doesn't seem obvious to Hasan's former civilian lawyer, who tells ABC News that he plans to sue over the shaving. "Forcibly shaving him after a military council approved the beard for the duration of the trial smacks of retaliation by Army officials," John Galligan said. "This was a vindictive act." Galligan says he'll consult with other lawyers, and then probably file a federal suit. Authorities also tell ABC that, given military regulations, a video of the shave must exist. (More Nidal Malik Hasan stories.)

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