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Amish Beard Cutting Verdict Watch: Trial Deliberations Resume Wednesday In Cleveland Court

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An Amish farmer works his tobacco field along West Eby Road with a backdrop of clouds, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County.
An Amish farmer works his tobacco field along West Eby Road with a backdrop of clouds, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County.

CLEVELAND — Jurors have wrapped up a third day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the trial of 16 people accused of hate crimes in hair- and beard-cutting attacks against their fellow Amish in Ohio.

Deliberations recessed Tuesday afternoon and resume Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

The members of a breakaway Amish settlement are accused of hate crimes in what federal prosecutors say were attacks motivated by religious differences. They say the defendants cut off Amish men's beards and women's hair because the hair carries spiritual significance in their faith.

Defense attorneys acknowledge that the hair-cuttings took place but contend that prosecutors are overreaching by calling them hate crimes.

All the defendants could face lengthy prison terms if convicted.

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