CLEVELAND – Amish convicted in hair- and beard-cutting hate crime attacks on fellow members of their faith in Ohio are lining up to appeal their convictions.
By Tuesday, 10 of 16 defendants sentenced Feb. 8 in Cleveland federal court had asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to reverse their convictions.
The defendants have challenged the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes act as overly broad, a claim rejected by the trial judge last year.
Ringleader Sam Mullet Sr., who has yet to appeal, has been sentenced to 15 years. The co-defendants, all members of his extended family, got sentences of one year to seven years.
A jury convicted them of attacks in apparent retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet's authoritarian style.