Cleveland, OH – Amish beard cutters will be sentenced on Friday. Prosecutors are hopeful that the “ringleader” of the group will receive a life sentence. The prosecution considers the hair cutting as a hate crime. The criminal case, spurred by a rash of beard and hair cuttings, brought undesired attention on the Amish community. The group typically prefers to stay set apart from modern culture.
Samuel Mullet Sr. and 15 of his relatives will be sentenced in US District Court, the Huffington Post notes. The band of Amish beard cutters could each receive at least receive a sentence of 10 years behind bars. The group consists of six women and 10 men. The band of Amish hair cutters were convicted in five attacks on their brethren last year.
The Amish hair cutting attacks occurred during 2011 in eastern and northeast Ohio. Prosecutors stated that the beard cutting attacks were acts of retaliation against members of the Amish community who “denounced or defied” Mullet’s style of leadership, Fox News reports.
The 67-year-old Amish leader reportedly referred to the beard and hair cutting attacks as an internal faith matter and denied that actions amounted to a hate crime. The defense attorney has asked the court for a prison sentence of two years or less. Prosecutors reportedly have an entirely different incarceration term in mind.
The Amish faith includes a belief that the Bible mandates men to grow beards once they get married and women to grow their hair long. Cutting off the hair of a woman of the beard of a man is considered a very offensive act in the Amish community.
Do you think the Amish beard cutters should be charged with a hate crime?
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