High court to look at inmate's right to grow beard

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether an Arkansas prison inmate must be allowed to grow a short beard in accordance with his religious beliefs.

The justices said Monday they will hear an appeal from inmate Gregory Holt, who says his Muslim beliefs require him to grow a beard.

State corrections officials say their grooming policy prohibiting beards promotes hygiene and safety.

The court previously blocked the state from forcing Holt to shave the beard while the appeal was under consideration. The case will be argued in the fall.

The 38-year-old Holt is serving a life sentence for domestic violence and burglary. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said in 2012 that prosecutors said Holt cut his girlfriend's throat and stabbed her in the chest at her mobile home.