CLEVELAND (AP) — Prosecutors in the Amish hair-cutting attacks trial in Ohio say the root of the dispute was a decision by Amish bishops to overrule the leader of a breakaway group who shunned his former followers.
The Amish say shunning is an act of love to help those who have strayed from their beliefs and repeatedly violate the church's doctrine.
But it also isolates members of their community and can break apart families.
Six years ago, about 300 Amish bishops made a rare decision to overrule a shunning ordered by the bishop of a breakaway Amish group in eastern Ohio.
Prosecutors say the decision infuriated the bishop so much that he sought revenge last fall by orchestrating a series of five hair-cutting attacks.