Hate-crime Amish sent to faraway prisons

March 5, 2013 at 2:43 PM
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CLEVELAND, March 5 (UPI) -- The eight men convicted of an Amish hate crime in Ohio have been assigned to prisons scattered across the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said.

Bishop Samuel Mullet, 67, leader of the Bergholz, Ohio, group who was prosecuted with 15 of his followers for a series of beard- and hair shearing attacks on perceived enemies of the breakaway sect, was notified last weekend he had been "re-designated" to a prison in Texarkana, Texas.

His three sons, and three other men convicted in the attacks, have been assigned to prisons in Minnesota, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Illinois instead of Lisbon, Ohio, the facility nearest their community, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Tuesday.

Mullet received a 15-year sentence. The others were sentenced to 2- to 7 years in prison.

Edward Bryan, Mullet's lawyer, wrote Monday to U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster, who sentenced the convicted sect members, saying his "clients will experience additional hardships" if not housed in a prison near their families.

Polster told the newspaper he can recommend locations for inmates serving their sentences, but assignments are made by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Bryan said he contacted a Bureau of Prisons official, who said assignments of the Amish defendants were based on "security concerns" found in the defendants' pre-sentence reports, and "population concerns" in prisons in the Northeast.

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