By Werner Lange (Contact)
To be delivered to: Judge Danial Aaron Polster, Judge for the Northern District of Ohio
Sam Mullet, an elderly Amish bishop, and six other Amish men, including his three sons, have been held in federal custody, without bail, since their preposterous arrest on federal hate crime charges in late 2011. The charges are based upon alleged unwanted cutting of the hair of other members of the Amish community with whom Mullet and others had an internal theological dispute. The Amish community had settled this internal dispute within their own communal system, but sought outside help for what they hoped would be psychological counseling for Mullet. Instead, federal agents took it upon themselves to vehemently pursue criminal charges. Steven Dettelbach, the controversial US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, charged the seven men with violations of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act for the alleged hair cutting. In mid-April 2012, Dettelbach's office brought additional charges of kidnapping and destruction of evidence against the defendants, which now include six Amish women. Dan Aaron Polster, an equally controversial federal judge assigned this case, denied bail to the original 7 defendants and these farmers have remained in jail, far from their fields and families, since November 23rd. A trial date has been set for late August, guaranteeing a total crop loss on Mullet's 800-acre farm in rural Jefferson County in eastern Ohio.
In a time when a high profile football coach accused of raping scores of boys is free on bond and when a white man accused of murdering a Black teen in a high profile case is also free on bond, it is an outrage that these seven pacifist farmers rot in jail while their crops rot or never appear in their fields.
Note: MoveOn Civic Action does not necessarily endorse the contents of petitions posted on this site. MoveOn Petitions is an open tool that anyone can use to post a petition advocating any point of view, so long as the petition does not violate our terms of service.