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Crime and Courts


Federal prosecutors push for a life sentence for Ohio Amish leader
Sam Mullet's attorney argues that's disproportional to the crime
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

Federal prosecutors  are pushing for life in prison for the head of a break-away Amish sect who’s been convicted of hate crimes. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the latest court filings.

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Sam Mullet Sr. was convicted in September of leading 15 of his followers in eastern Ohio to carry out a series of beard and hair-cutting attacks against other Amish people who disagreed with him.

He’s to be sentenced in Cleveland on Friday. And prosecutors say the 67-year-old should spend the rest of his life in prison because he orchestrated the attacks, controlled virtually every aspect of his followers’ lives and has shown no remorse. They say the attacks were retribution and done to shame the victims, who regard long hair and beards as a manifestation of their spirituality.  And they say they’ve gotten letters from other Amish people who fear Mullet.

Mullet’s attorney maintains his conviction was a misapplication of the federal hate crime law. Given his clean criminal record, Mullet argues that  Mullet should spend no more than two years in prison. A life sentence would be disproportional to the crime.

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