Amish beard cutter conviction highlight fundamental flaw in legal system

A while back there was this weird beard news story about the members of an Amish cult attacking other Amish folk and cutting off their beards and/or hair.  Well, they were all arrested. They refused the plea bargains and pleaded innocent. 

The result is the leader has been sentence to 15 years, 4 members to 7 years, and the rest of the 15 to receive 1 year sentences. Now, granted. I do believe what they did was wrong, immoral, illegal and constitutes assault. 

But seriously, can someone explain to me why violent rapists, robbers, and what not receive less harsh sentences. In fact,”The government had asked for a life sentence for Mullet.

Seriously? A life sentence? For beard cutting….but I can rob and shoot you, rape you, and for whatever reason. Even if I’ve done that many times, I can still be sentenced for far less.

So why did this happen? First off, they fell afoul of a political correctness law. “Hate Crime”, remember when people warned that this law would result in unjust legal decisions. Here is an example, because this happened within the Amish community, between one Amish church versus another.  It is being labelled at a religious hate crime. Suddenly, the cutting of beards is on par with murder.

This is NOT to say I do not believe they should have been convicted and sentenced. But I’d wager a 5 year sentence for Mr Mullet quite sufficient. And no more than a 1 year for any of the others involved. 

But I believe there is a SECOND REASON why this happened.  They pleaded innocent.

I am affirmed in my belief that our current legal system is engineered for guilty pleas. It is a corrupt bastion of bean counters. You see, they want convictions, they want guilt. And so everything is focused on admitting guilt.  We will give you a super good plea bargain, just please tell us your guilty.  Hey, we’ll only charge you for this far lesser crime if you plead guilty.

What, you plead innocent. HOW DARE YOU!!!!  Throw the book at them, give them the maximum sentence. Destroy their life. You did not do what the system wanted. You tried to defend your innocence.

And the whole system is catered to preventing that.  A simple traffic ticket results in a year long game with the courts. First you must wait 6 months  your court date.  You take off for work and are offered a plea bargain. Even though you asked for a trial, and informed the DA office that you are not interested in a plea bargain and you would like to ensure you can have your trial on the date provided.

So then since you plead innocent and refused the plea bargain, you must come a second time to court. So they can pull your records.   Joy, you’re at court again. But do you get your trial. Nope. Instead, you are told you have to come a third time, because they need to subpeona the officer involved.  (Now that you’ve refused our third attempt at getting you to admit guilt, we will finally give you your trial.)

You see, the whole system is about recording score. Points are awarded for guilty pleas. Just like Dept of Child Services. They’ll seize children, but if you admit abuse, they’ll enroll you in a class and return your children to you. They just want you to admit fault so they have a purpose to exist. But deny any guilt, and you will find yourself in a huge battle. Regardless how little evidence they may have.  (I think it’s ironic that a while back a mentally disabled child was seized because the parents kept the child in a cage.  Of course, the child was handed over to the proper state approved caretakers, who then proceeded to keep the child caged. And later even admitted with this type of disability it was really the only way the child could be kept safe at night.  Go figure…

ADMIT YOUR GUILT, regardless of innocence, and we’ll be gentle.  But God forbid you actually demand a trial and a right to defend your innocence. We will take that as a personal offense and throw everything we can at you. And I believe this Amish case is an example of just that. Seriously, life in prison for beard cutting.

</rant>

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Published in: on March 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. “Don’t fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating.”

    – Brazil: Terry Gilliam


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