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Jewish inmate in Milton requests circumcision
A Jewish inmate at the Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Milton is asking the state's corrections department for permission to be circumcised. An earlier request was turned down by the prison's warden.
For Jewish people the circumcision ceremony, called brit or bris milah, is a covenant with God.
The ceremony, seen here in a Youtube video posted by the group brit yosef yitzchak, is usually performed on eight day-old baby boys.
But in the case of 37-year-old Pablo Diaz, that apparently didn't happen. Diaz is currently serving a life sentence for kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and manslaughter.
He was born to a Jewish mother and has been active in Jewish prison ministry.Brit yosef yitschak has offered to perform the procedure free of charge.
Folks we spoke with were divided on the issue.
"I am not one for giving prisoners any kind of dispensation," said Pensacola resident Carlos Techert.
"Do you think he should be allowed to go forward?" asked the reporter.
"Of course...because it's part of his religion and very important to him," said Pensacola resident Betty Armstrong.
A group of lawyers in California is representing Diaz.
They say they'll file a federal lawsuit if his request is denied and they want an answer soon. A representative for the corrections department said she could not comment on the case because it's a medical issue.
This isn't the first time the Florida department of Corrections has had to deal with a religious controversy.
It recently decided to make kosher meals available to Jewish prisoners after being sued by the justice department for failing to do so.