The Amish Outlaws of the Bourbon State

Here’s something you don’t see every day, mugshots of Amish fellas, courtesy of the Graves County Jail in Kentucky.  Their shocking crime? 

Well, it’s not very shocking at all, actually.  According to the Smoking Gun, these members of the  Swartzentruber Amish sect refused to follow a judge’s order to affix reflective orange triangles onto their black horse drawn buggies, choosing to use reflective tape instead.

Citing religious reasons (they aren’t allowed to display bright colors), these rebels neglected to use the court-ordered safety devices and refused to pay the subsequent files, so they got sent to the pokey.

They were jailed between 3 to 10 days for contempt of court, but were allowed to wear dark inmate jumpsuits instead of the standard-issue bright orange ones.  If the jail was being so sensitive to their religious principles, they probably should’ve sketched their mugshots as well.




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Categories: Lifestyle, News, Whiskey


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21 Comments on “The Amish Outlaws of the Bourbon State”

  1. September 16, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Judging by the beards, this looks like a collection of arrests from last year’s GABF.

    • September 16, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Just add some pretzel necklaces…

      • September 16, 2011 at 8:27 am #

        or medals.

        • September 16, 2011 at 9:03 am #


  2. John King
    September 16, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Way to hate on my State. Jim sucks. Least they weren’t them religious folks from Idaho…

    • September 16, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      Hey, your state creates hooligans such as these, I just report about them. And if they were religious folk from Idaho, they’d have been given ceremonial flannel checkered jumpsuits to wear.

      • March 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

        point well made and taken. Nobody is free until everyone is free…Idaho or Kentucky.
        Everyone, everywhere until we all have the individual and communal freedom to fly our freak flag. Until that happens, there’s going to be a uhhealthy and vocal supply of angry and frustrated haters.

  3. Don
    September 16, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    They need to get with the program! The Amish in Iowa and Pennsylvania use those placards and I’m pretty sure they won’t go to H..E..double toothpicks for it. The crazy thing is that they are for their own protection. If a car or truck runs into a wooden carriage it isn’t the people in the car or truck that die. I thought you were going to say they got busted for moonshine or something truly nefarious. Freakin’ Amish.

  4. September 16, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    They need mafia nicknames, like “Jebediah ‘The Fish’ Hershberger”.

    • September 16, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      or Jacob ‘Twin Scythe” Miller or Isaac “Barn Burner” Yoder…

  5. September 16, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    There is obviously a clash of cultures going on…both in KY and here on the B&WB Blog.

    A little bit of empathy and tolerance goes a long way! Imagine how you’d feel if government authorities told you you couldn’t drink beer or whiskey anymore because abstinence was safer for you? They’re only doing it for your own good after all. (History teaches us how well that works!)

    I suspect that a little respectful negotiation would have yielded a solution acceptable to all parties–a lesson obviously lost on our esteemed Congressional leaders.

    • Don
      September 16, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      Listen, I have nothing but respect for the Amish people. Jim and I grew up with them in the part of Iowa we lived in. I understand their beliefs and their ways. I also know that an 18 wheeler that takes out a buggy and said family leaves a hell of a mess. That said, there is a legitimate safety issue here that needs to be resolved. Was Jail the answer? No. Obviously that was way over the top, and I think my brother Jim was trying to point that out, just how ridiculous it is to jail these people for this type of minor transaction. There was obviously a much better and culturally sensitive way to deal with this situation. I believe Jim was more poking fun at the idiots that prosecuted these men than the fact that they all have long hair and beards. We get it. But you gotta admit those photos are unique and quirky. 😉

    • September 16, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      I agree with you – Don is so intolerant!

      I on the other hand am on the side of these guys. They seem to be an orthodox sect, and bright colors are a no-no. They still applied reflective tape to their buggies so they could be seen at night, but “the man” insisted on the orange triangle.

      What I don’t understand is why they will let these guys avoid the orange prison jumpsuits but not the orange triangles.

      • March 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

        Maybe the county is riding the line because maybe now they aren’t quite 100% sure they are in the right. The Amish are cool. That’s a good question you ask. Every so often an Amish man has to go to jail. It’s rampant in this new country, and they aren’t strangers to religious persecution during their European Western History.

    • March 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Negotiation and tolerance. Plus sharing and understanding amongst human beings historically yields a hearty, healthy bounty.

  6. Timothy McGinnis
    September 17, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    Apparently since the movie Kingpin, there has not been a lot of work for the Amish as movie extras.

    • September 17, 2011 at 6:35 am #

      It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for Witness 2…

  7. Brandon
    September 19, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Wow, seeing these mugshots instantly made me grateful I’m not an Amish woman.

    • September 19, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      At least once a day I think the same thing – I’m grateful I’m not an Amish woman… 😉

      • March 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

        The Amish are like the old European Jew. The Amish never lost their way but an American jew is a stranger here and has lost their ways.

  8. Homebrewed Anarchist
    August 16, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    >>If the jail was being so sensitive to their religious principles, they probably should’ve sketched their mugshots as well.

    Those Amish who oppose having their photos taken, and not all of them do, usually do so for two reasons: the biblical commandment against graven images, and posing for pictures is a sign of pride. If these believe the former, then mugshots probably wouldn’t count. If the latter, then sketches are also probably verboten.

    (yes, I know you’re being sarcastic; no, I don’t care).

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