COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Ohio can’t force a convicted killer to cut off his dreadlocks, calling it a violation of religious rights.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan sided with inmate Deon Glenn, who says his faith of Rastafarianism requires him to wear his hair in dreadlocks.

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The judge said Monday that Ohio’s blanket policy against dreadlocks violates the law because it doesn’t permit a religious exemption. She also said the state didn’t prove Glenn’s hair couldn’t be searched for contraband or is a safety risk.

The judge said her ruling applied only to Glenn, and other similar complaints should be analyzed individually.

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The Ohio prisons system declined to comment.

The 29-year-old Glenn is serving 15 years to life on a murder charge.

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