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Problems DA could face in Amish case

Two suspects in the Amish abduction case could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

And as the case is prepared for court some are wondering how the religious beliefs of the Amish victims could impact a trial.

13WHAM News spoke with Mary Rain, the Lawrence County District Attorney, and Rain said she doesn’t anticipate any problems, but did acknowledge that some things are difficult.

Rain did say that language barrier is one obstacle they are facing.

“They don't speak perfect English, so some of the translation has to be from Pennsylvania Dutch. When you have a translation issue, we hope to clarify that.”

That could mean bringing in professional Pennsylvania Dutch translators instead of family translators, and for the Amish, that may be an issue.

Legal analyst Bob Brenna says families of the 7 and 12 year old Amish victims may not be ready for the legal road ahead, especially if they're required to testify against the alleged suspects.
“The Amish religion believes for the most part that a sinner will be punished and they can refrain from taking steps to do so on earth because justice will prevail,” said Brenna.

Rain says so far, the Amish families are being cooperative. She doesn't plan on having the children testify, but it may be necessary.
According to Brenna, the Amish families seem to be seeking justice, and adds the DA seems to understand their beliefs.

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Washington Times