Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan. (By Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram/AP)
FORT HOOD, TX (AP) - A military appeals court has ousted the judge in the Fort Hood shooting case and thrown out his order to forcibly shave suspect.
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. But the court didn't rule on whether Gross' order about Hasan's beard violated his religious rights.
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.
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.
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