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12 defendants in Ohio Amish attacks join challenge
12 Amish defendants in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio joining challenge to law
By The Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) ' Twelve defendants charged in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio are challenging the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes law.

University of Akron Law professor J. Dean Carro, who filed one of the challenges, said Monday that all the defendants would join the effort to overturn the law.

The challenges say the alleged attacks aren't religion-based hate crimes but internal church discipline not involving anti-Amish bias.

The government faces a Monday deadline to respond to the challenge but asked a judge in Cleveland for an extension. Prosecutors didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

A feud over church discipline allegedly led to attacks in which the beards and hair of men and hair of women were cut. That's considered deeply offensive to Amish.

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