Eight Amish Men Jailed Over Orange Safety Triangles

Sep 15, 2011 2:26pm

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Eight Amish men were jailed after refusing to affix orange reflective safety triangles to their buggies, saying the triangles violated their religious beliefs.

The men belong to the ultraconservative Old Order Swartzentruber Amish sect in western Kentucky and said the bright orange reflector goes against their modesty codes.

“I don’t think it’s right to put somebody in jail for practicing their religious beliefs … but that’s what we’ll do if that’s what it takes to abide by the biblical laws,” Levi Zook, one of the defendants, told the Courier-Journal prior to the hearing.

The men had refused to pay court-imposed fines and were sentenced on Monday to between three and 10 days in jail. According to the Courier-Journal they opted for jail time because they felt paying the fines would “amount to complying with a law they believe violates their religious strictures against wearing bright colors or trusting in manmade symbols for their safety.”

Zook did not end up having to spend time in jail, the Courier-Journal reported, because a friend paid his fine so he would not have to leave his son, who has cerebral palsy.

Randy Haley, the Graves County jailer, told ABC News that as of this morning all but one of the men had been released. The last man will be released Sept. 21.

“They were very nice,” said Haley. “They did anything we asked them to do, we had no problems.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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