Editorial: Sam Mullet's 15 year sentence - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Editorial: Amish beard cutting sentence....doesn't cut it

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Amish Leader Sam Mullet and others on trial for beard cutting Amish Leader Sam Mullet and others on trial for beard cutting
(WOIO) -

The average sentence for rape in the United States is about six years in jail. And so it might seem overly punitive for the courts recently to have sentenced Amish sect leader Sam Mullet to fifteen years for ordering his followers to cut off the beards of some of his Amish enemies.

The prosecutors pointed out that this crime was more than just operating a hair salon without a license. Indeed the victims were assaulted and Mullet and his minions who staged the attack certainly deserved jail time.

But, a fifteen-year sentence for the sixty-seven year old Mullet really amounts to life in prison .…pretty stiff penalty for a crime in which no one was seriously hurt.

It is the first Ohio case to use a landmark law, expanding the powers of prosecutors to pursue so-called hate crime and this hate crime designation is what allowed for the harsh sentence.

But did Mullet really "trample on the constitution," as Federal Judge Aaron Polster put it?  And, was it really a "hate crime?"

Write and let me know what you think.  I'm Bill Applegate and here's the address.

Editorial Response

1717 E. 12th Street

Cleveland, OH 44114

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