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Ban on Prison Beards Violates Muslim Rights, Supreme Court Says
by Adam Liptak
The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously ruled that Arkansas corrections officials had violated the religious liberty rights of Muslim inmates by forbidding them to grow beards.
The case concerned Gregory H. Holt, who is serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery. Mr. Holt, also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad, sought to grow a half-inch beard.
More than 40 state prison systems allow such short beards. Most allow longer ones. The exceptions, according to Mr. Holt's brief, are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
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