Arlington man sentenced to 14 months for hate crime arson at mosque

Henry Clay Glaspell

U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means this week sentenced Henry Clay Glaspell, 34, of Arlington, to 14 months in prison after Gaspell pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge in connection with an arson fire at the children’s playground at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Education Center in Arlington in July 2010, according to this report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Means ordered Glaspell, who has been free on bond, to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 21.

Glaspell also admitted that he had stolen and damaged some of the mosque’s property, that he had thrown used cat litter at the mosque’s front door and that he had shouted racial and ethnic slurs at people at the mosque on several occasions. Glaspell said his actions were motivated by hatred for people of Arabic or Middle Eastern descent.

Texas legislators passed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which allows enhanced penalties to be assessed to those convicted of hate crimes. But while hate crimes are frequently reported and labeled as such by law enforcement, prosecutors rarely take hate crimes charges to court for fear that it would be too hard to prove a perpetrator’s bias-based intent to a jury.

—  admin

Blade on military’s recoupment penalties it charges gay DADT victims

This is the issue Joe and I wrote about a week or so ago, and about which we posted this open letter to Defense Secretary Gates, that now has over 5,000 signatures – please add yours.

Chris Johnson in the Washington Blade:

For Sara Isaacson, separation from the University of North Carolina’s Army ROTC program because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” comes with a price tag of $ 79,265.

Isaacson told the Washington Blade she understands the U.S. military wants to protect its investment in training her, but she hopes to repay her debt by serving in the armed forces as opposed to paying the expenses out of pocket.

“I have always said the goal is still to serve my country and I want to be able to fulfill my commitment by serving in uniform,” she said. “The military right now is not allowing me to do that, so I don’t think it’s fair that they’re asking for the tuition back.”

Isaacson, 22 and a lesbian, said she hasn’t yet graduated from college and doesn’t know how she could pay the money that the U.S. military is seeking.

“I’m a few classes away from graduating and I don’t have $ 80,000 to repay the military,” she said.

Nicholson said he’s been “hounding” White House officials on the recoupment issue even prior to signing of repeal legislation.

Part of the reason for keeping the practice in place, Nicholson said, was that the Obama administration didn’t want to take action before the Pentagon working group published its report on implementing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

“Obviously, we realized when that report came out that it was not something they addressed, so we obviously started hounding them again on this,” Nicholson said.

Noting that current law gives the Pentagon discretion over whether or not to collect recoupment fees, Nicholson said ending the practice would be a “simple fix” because it would only require an order from President Obama.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet