All twelve defendants charged in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish will close ranks and challenge the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes law.
J. Dean Carro, who filed a challenge on behalf of the alleged ringleader and one of his sons, said all defendants would challenge the law and try to have the indictment dismissed.
The judge extended today’s deadline for prosecutors to respond until April 16. Prosecutors didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
The challenges, including one filed electronically Sunday night, said the alleged attacks aren’t hate crimes but internal church disciplinary matters not involving anti-Amish bias.
The motion to dismiss the indictment said the hate crimes law is vague and overly broad and includes actions “that were not intended to be covered as ‘hate crimes’.”