Complete and continuing coverage of the fatal shootings at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009

Beard May Bias Fort Hood Jury: Expert

Beard allowed to be forcibly shaved

By Angela K. Brown
|  Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 3:32 PM CDT
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Beard May Bias Fort Hood Jury: Expert

AP

This undated photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows Nidal Hasan. A military judge was to decide Friday, June 29, 2012 whether to further delay the trial Hasan, an the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shootings. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram)

Some experts say the Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage might face a harsher jury if he's allowed to break Army policy and attend his murder trial with a beard.

And if Hasan's beard isn't forcibly shaved beard as the judge wants, that could be grounds for an appeal if he's convicted and sentenced to death for the 2009 attack that killed 13 on the Texas Army post.

Experts say military juries don't like to see defendants disobeying a rule.

Hasan says his newly grown beard is an expression of his Muslim faith. The issue is far from over because a military appeals court says the judge hasn't yet issued a definitive order for Hasan to be forcibly shaved -- so Hasan's appeal was premature.

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