Leader in Amish hair-cutting case seeks Supreme Court review

2016-10-05 11:03
Members of the Amish community leave the US Federal Courthouse in Cleveland. Sixteen men and women have pleaded not guilty in beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio. (Tony Dejak, AP)

Members of the Amish community leave the US Federal Courthouse in Cleveland. Sixteen men and women have pleaded not guilty in beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio. (Tony Dejak, AP)

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Washington — The Ohio leader of a breakaway group that was accused in hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish is asking the US Supreme Court to review the case.

The petition was filed last month on behalf of Samuel Mullet Senior and two of the 15 followers sentenced in the case. They're challenging the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes law and how a kidnapping allegation was used to stiffen Mullet's sentence.

Prosecutors said some victims of the 2011 attacks were restrained as others cut their hair and beards, which have spiritual significance in the Amish faith.

An appeals court dismissed hate-crime convictions for all 16 defendants, and they were resentenced on remaining charges, principally conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The 71-year-old Mullet has served about half of his nearly 11-year sentence.

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