- The Washington Times - Friday, January 25, 2013

Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army officer who is facing 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, now wants to avoid the death penalty, according to The Associated Press.

The strategy being used by his attorneys hinges on the argument that his rights were violated when a judge, Col. Gregory Gross, ordered him to shave his beard, the AP reports.

His attorneys say Maj. Hasan wants to plead guilty to the charges, which would open the door to a sentence of life without parole, but Army regulations prohibit judges from accepting guilty pleas in cases that involving the death penalty.

Col. Tara Osborn, the judge presiding over the long-delayed case, is set to consider the defense’s requests.