So when Amish elder Samuel Mullet Sr., got sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for snipping the beards of fellow 'disobedient' followers more than a few facts had to be stretched.
The Feds had to find a way to link Mullet and the others to interstate commerce. And make the jury believe just the act of cutting hair inflicted horrendous bodily injury.
How'd they do it?
First, the Feds said the hair of the Amish men and women had religious significance to them so removing it met the special hate crime circumstance. Okay, stretch number one.
Next the Feds had to prove just the act of carrying scissors across state lines is a federal hate crime. Yep. The scissors used were made in one state, sold in another state, and brought to the crime scene in yet another state.
Mullet's defense attorney says the outcome is a travesty of justice. And begs the question why are outsiders involved anyway?
Real killers like OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony skated entirely - but the Amish beard bandit got the book thrown at him. Justice or religious persecution? You be the judge...