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Judge removed in Fort Hood shooting case

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Col. Gregory Gross didn't appear impartial while presiding over the case


Associated Press

FORT HOOD, Texas — A military appeals court has thrown out a judge's order to forcibly shave the Fort Hood shooting suspect and removed the judge from the case.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled Monday that Col. Gregory Gross didn't appear impartial while presiding over the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan.

In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, center with back showing, is seen sitting between members of is defense team, left and right, the courtroom reporter, center, and Col. Gregory Gross, left rear, Fort Hood's chief circuit judge, during an arraignment hearing in Fort Hood, Texas. (AP Image)
In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, center with back showing, is seen sitting between members of is defense team, left and right, the courtroom reporter, center, and Col. Gregory Gross, left rear, Fort Hood's chief circuit judge, during an arraignment hearing in Fort Hood, Texas. (AP Image)

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 shootings on the Texas Army post that killed 13 people and wounded more than two dozen.

Hasan appealed after Gross ordered that he must be clean-shaven or be forcibly shaved before the court-martial. Hasan says his beard is a requirement of his Muslim faith, but facial hair violates Army rules.

The appeals court says the command, not the judge, is responsible for enforcing grooming standards.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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