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Cleveland, OH - Judge: U.S. Hate-Crime Law Also Applies To Violent Disputes Between Different Religions

Published on: June 1, 2012 01:09 PM
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Cleveland, OH - A federal judge has rejected a challenge of the federal hate crimes law by Amish sect leader Sam Mullet and 15 followers charged with beard- and hair-cutting assaults in Ohio Amish country last year.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster ruled that the indictment against Mr. Mullet, brought by the U.S. Justice Department under the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, does not violate the U.S. Constitution as the defendants’ lawyers had argued.

Mr. Mullet’s attorney, along with lawyers for the others, said the beard-cutting attacks were not hate crimes because they did not involve an anti-Amish bias but rather a dispute within a religion.

Judge Polster said the Hate Crimes Prevention Act doesn’t limit acts of violence to disputes between different religions.

“While hate crimes are often committed by members of one religious (or racial or ethnic) group against another, history is replete with examples of internecine violence,” he ruled. “By the defendants’ logic, a violent assault by a Catholic on a Protestant, or a Sunni Muslim on a Shiite Muslim, or an Orthodox Jew on a non-Orthodox Jew, would not be prohibited by this statute.”

The lawyers had also argued that the hate crimes law violated the defendants’ rights to religious expression under the First Amendment.

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 Jun 01, 2012 at 03:15 PM bigwheeel Says:

The judge is 100% right.This method of "Reasoning" is the same as some members of certain ethnic or racial groups are attempting to forward in the US. Namely. Because they belong to the same ethnic or racial group, (As their antagonist.) they can use the worst and most insulting terms on their opponent, while the rest of the world is condemned as racists and haters for using the same terms.

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 Jun 02, 2012 at 09:33 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

All in all, a darn weird case.

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