Skip to comments.Major Hasan gets to keep his beard. That's Good.
Posted on 12/05/2012 9:29:13 AM PST by DanMiller
Getting a clean conviction of Major Hasan is more important than whether he has a clean face.
The court martial of Army Major Nidal Hasan, who murdered thirteen people at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009 and wounded thirty-two others while screaming Allah Akbar, has dragged on too long. If he had been forcibly shaved he would have had grounds to continue the charade and, if eventually convicted, to appeal that conviction for many years.
Defense counsel likely tried to inject legal error into the proceedings as grounds for post-conviction appeals. That's what defense counsel try to do when the evidence of guilt is overwhelming. On December 3th the military judge, Colonel Gregory Gross, was removed principally because he may have shown bias by insisting that Major Hasan's beard be shaved.
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which sits in Washington, D.C., said in its 10-page opinion that because of a variety of factors, a reasonable person would harbor doubts about the military judges impartiality. The court did not say that the trial judge was actually biased, officials noted, but instead ordered the removal for the appearance of bias. The court also set aside the six previous contempt convictions against Hasan, who has refused orders from Gross to shave his beard and conform with Army grooming standards in the courtroom, though it did not issue a ruling on whether Hasan has a right to wear his beard under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
A new trial judge will be detailed to the court-martial and will decide on the matter when the case goes back on the record in open court.
That ruling riles but is correct pragmatically. Of course Major Hasan is required to be clean shaven; he is still an Army officer and was appearing at his court martial. He apparently did not discover his Islamic obligation to grow a beard until after his court martial had begun. Perhaps defense counsel suggested that a beard could disrupt the proceedings and thereby provide grounds for appeal later; perhaps Major Hasan just decided to grow a beard because of a conveniently timed realization that his Religion of Peace requires it. It does not matter which and there is, in any event, no way to determine why he did it. Was Judge Gross prejudiced against him? Only if requiring him to comply with grooming standards required of all other Army officers shows prejudice; it does not. That does not matter either. The important thing is that the court martial can now proceed, at least until defense counsel discovers additional bases for disruption and subsequent appeal.
If during his next court appearance Major Hasan wears a tutu, Michael Jackson moon boots and a head cover of the sort women are required to wear in Islamist places, the court martial should ignore the attempt at intentionally farcical insults and proceed with the trial. Otherwise, Major Hasan is likely to die of old age while supported by taxpayers as his appeals wend their way back and forth from the trial court through various levels of appeal, back to trial and on and on and on. That would be a disgrace to the military justice system and to the nation. A former Army JAG officer, I have long been very proud of the American system of military justice and would be outraged.
The important thing is to give him a fair trial where all of the relevant and clearly admissible evidence is considered, for the court to decide on his guilt or innocence and, if found guilty, to impose appropriate punishment.
A female military judge, Colonel Tara A. Osborn, has been designated as Colonel Gross' replacement. That may generate grounds for further delay, disruption and eventually appeal from a conviction. Those grounds may be no less specious than those that resulted in the replacement of Colonel Gross. Whether they are specious or valid matters little because in either event the trial may be delayed and disrupted further and the appeal further protracted. Here are two thoughts:
♦ Might the designation of a female military judge to preside over the trial of an Islamist male be deemed evidence of prejudice? Arguments to that effect could be made.
♦ If those arguments are rejected, must Colonel Osborn's head be covered in Islamist fashion during the trial so as not to offend Major Hasan's sense of Islamist decency? Would a failure to do that be deemed evidence of prejudice? Stranger things have happened.
It would have made more sense to designate a male military judge to preside -- if moving the trial forward was the goal and if delaying Major Hasan's conviction and execution indefinitely was not the goal. Perhaps further thought will be given to this matter; it should be, soon.
The fact that they are trying him on Work Place Violence pretty much means his punishment will be less than if they tried him on a domestic terrorist charge.
He is being tried on multiple charges of murder and aggravated assault. The "workplace violence" nonsense is what President Obama called it.
Under the charges and specifications, the death penalty can and should be imposed. I shall be surprised if it is not. Whether it will withstand review by the convening authority and then by the courts is a different question. It should, but may not.
I can’t believe somebody hasn’t laced this asshole’s catheter with something lethal.
Perhaps I have been retired from the military too long but in my day Hasan would have been counseled by his CO that he was in violation of regulation grooming standards. If he didn’t conform then there would ensue a escalating set of punishments including forfeiture of pay, Article 15 punishments, Court Marshall, and dismissal from the Army.
The only reason I can think of this not happening is that this course of action was taken away from the Court Marshall convening authority, the commanding general at Ft Hood. Guesses?
We have the means, but not the will. And the SCM (state controlled media) blames the "gun culture," or "machismo." Add public school education for the masses, our national debt, and we're done, toast.
I like the idea of him keeping his beard. I think it is important that rather than him being viewed as a member of the U.S. Military who snapped and was a “victim of our gun culture”, the beard will help demonstrate that he committed his murders in the name of the “religion of peace and tolerance”.
Why can’t Hasan’s refusal to obey a military order just be added to the charges against him?
"Justice delayed is justice denied." The 'justice' system has been infested with parasites who are more interested in self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement than with helping their society deal judiciously with its problems. Had justice prevailed, Hasan would have lasted about as long as McVeigh.
The rest of the world has to be laughing at the absurd administration of our criminal justice system. I know I am.
Why is this guy still breathing air?
Likewise for the Wikileaks guy.
Shave him with a culturally acceptable scimitar.
14, not 13 killed.
10 seconds. all i need. just need ten seconds.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.