Maj. Nidal Hasan (Jail photo)
FORT HOOD (September 24, 2012)—Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist facing trial and a possible death penalty for the deadly November 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center, was in Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Monday.
A brief press release from Fort Hood said Hasan was in good condition and should be released within the next 48 hours, but citing federal privacy rules, the Army released no information about why Hasan was hospitalized.
Hasan, who was injured in an exchange of gunfire with two Fort Hood police officers, is paralyzed from the waist down and is confined in a wheelchair.
He has been held in the Bell County Jail since his release from the hospital after the shooting rampage.
His court-martial was put on hold after defense attorneys filed two appeals related to Hasan’s beard, which has been a point of contention in pretrial proceedings.
Military Judge Col. Gregory Gross has ordered Hasan to shave and said if he refuses he would be shaved forcibly before the trial begins.
Hasan, however, argues he grew the beard because his Muslim faith requires it.
His attorneys filed appeals seeking a ruling on whether the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows Hasan to keep the beard.
The first seeks to overturn contempt findings against Hasan in previous hearings and to bar any future contempt proceedings over the beard.
The second seeks a ruling on whether the act allows Hasan to have a beard while in military uniform during his court-martial.
Hasan faces a possible death penalty if convicted in the Nov. 5, 2009 rampage that left 13 dead.