Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Couple Convicted For Mistreatment of Lamb Purchased For Religious Sacrifice
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that on Tuesday, an El Paso County, Colorado state court jury convicted Periz Jackson and Elijah Black on animal cruelty charges for the confined and unsanitary conditions under which they kept a lamb they had purchased to sacrifice on Passover. Prosecutors charged defendants, who face a sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5000 fine, failed to feed and water the lamb. The couple, who are members of the largely African-American Hebrew-Israelite sect, planned to slaughter and roast the lamb in accordance with the ritual description in the Biblical book of Exodus. The lamb, discovered by the couple's landlord, was seized by the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. Defendants say they intend to sue for federal civil rights violations because the government's actions prevented them from carrying out their religious obligations on their first Passover together as man and wife.