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.

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Canadian Corporal Sentenced To 1 Year For Gay Club Attack That Left Man With Jaw Wired Shut

Michael Tscherkassow, a 25-year-old corporal in the Canadian Forces, will serve 12 months for beating Cody Garbutt in March 2009 as he was walking off the dancefloor at the since-shuttered gay club Play. Tscherkassow, who was convicted of aggravated assault during an October trial, bragged about the assault on Facebook, saying he "Superman-punched" someone. Rather than own up to the attack, Tscherkassow claimed Garbutt's friend Kyle Roley was the one who punched him; the judge didn't buy it. Garbutt, who suffered a broken jaw, nose, and damage to his right eye and mouth, required his jaw to be wired shut for five weeks while healing. He now has four steel plates in his face. A twelve-month punishment? Sounds like a vacation.


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Breaking: The Hammer’s sentenced to the slammer for 3 years

Tiny violin time…

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), convicted on corporate money laundering charges, will be going to the pokey for three years. (The Statesman):

The three-year sentence was on the charge of conspiring to launder corporate money into political donations during the 2002 elections.

On the charge of money laundering, DeLay was sentenced to five years in prison, but that was probated for 10 years. That means he would serve 10 years’ probation.

“This will not stand,” said his attorney, Dick DeGuerin. DeLay was taken into custody but he was expected to be released as soon as he posted an appeals bond.

Prior to the sentence, DeLay spoke to the court.

He was unrepentant. “I fought the fight. I ran the race. I kept the faith,” DeLay said.

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NY Man Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For 2008 Anti-Gay Attack

Joshuaholts Some good news out of Springville, New York, where Joshua Holts has been sentenced to four years in prison for the vicious 2008 beating of a 47-year old gay man, Scott Wright.

Holts was caught on film beating Wright and hurling anti-gay epithets. Though police pursued the case as a hate crime, Judge Thomas Franczyk thought otherwise: he claimed that the beating was simply motivated by "anger, rage and ignorance," according to WIVB. The judge also lambasted Holts for "beating the hell out of this guy."

For his part, Holts blamed the crime on booze: I'm really not a bad person," he said. "I had too much to drink and made some bad decisions based on that, and I am sorry for."

Judy Wright, Scott's mother, appears to understand Holts' contrition, and remarked, "It's sad when you see a young man handcuffed and taken away." Still, she does believe Holts was motivated by hate: "After eight minutes, you felt the need to return to the victim and deliver some more blows to his already damaged head. This was a crime filled with hate that thankfully was all caught on camera."

What are you thoughts, reader? Has justice been done, or does Holt deserve a stiffer punishment?


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—  John Wright

Defendants Sentenced in Hate Crime Slaying of José Sucuzhanay

On June 28, 2010, a New York State Supreme Court jury convicted Keith Phoenix of committing two hate crimes for beating José Sucuzhanay to death and attacking the victim’s brother, Romel, in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood after mistaking the Ecuadorian immigrants as a gay couple.

Yesterday, Judge Patricia M. Di Mango determined that Pheonix and his accomplice, Hakim Scott, will serve a minimum prison term of just over three decades for the 2008 murder of José and the attempted assault on his brother Romel. While Phoenix was convicted of a hate crime, Scott was not.

A mistrial had previously been declared on May 11th, when one juror held out for a lesser charge of manslaughter while the other 11 jurors believed that second-degree murder should be applied. Unlike the second jury, the first jury did not believe Phoenix’s acts were bias-motivated.

HRC applauds the Judge DiMango for the holding both Phoenix and Scott accountable for their actions with an appropriate prison sentence.


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—  John Wright