Monday, August 20, 2007

Free Exercise Defense Being Raised To Smuggling Charges

The New York Sun today reports on a free exercise case that is moving toward trial in federal court in the Eastern District of New York. At a hearing earlier this month, a judge ruled that a New York woman-- originally from Liberia-- has standing to raise a free exercise of religion defense to charges of smuggling monkey meat into the United States. The defendant, Mamie Manneh, says that the monkey parts were imported for use in religious ceremonies. Supporting her claim are the pro bono efforts of a major New York law firm and potential testimony from a Harvard Divinity School faculty member.