Court: Long Locks Prohibited In Prison Despite Religion

Ruling To Disappoint Cherokee Indian Inmate

CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a Cherokee Indian inmate cannot grow long hair in an Ohio prison.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Cornelius Hoevenaar, 66. He is serving a life sentence from Hamilton County for aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

Hoevenaar said his Indian religion prohibits cutting his hair and that prison regulations regulating hair length violate his constitutional right to practice his religion. He said the prison rule violates a federal law intended to prohibit governments from limiting the religious freedom of prisoners.

But the federal appeals court said Friday it has already ruled that law unconstitutional. The prisoner’s lawyer says he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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