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Al Sharpton Slams 240-Year Hate-Crime Sentence for Black Gunman
NEW YORK A judge has sentenced a black man to 240 years in prison for taking white hostages in a bar in Manhattan's East Village and telling them that "white people are going to burn tonight."
The man had been convicted of attempted murder and assault after he shot and wounded three people, including a police officer, and sprayed kerosene on several people and threatened to set them on fire. Two women caught the man off guard and tackled him, and a policeman shot him. The man had been carrying three pistols, a samurai sword and a container of kerosene, and he told police he had gone looking for happy white people to kill to avenge the mistreatment of blacks.
Black leaders condemned the sentence.
"Hate crime is when white folk do sumpin' to black folk,"Ł said Al Sharpton. "This law was meant to be used against whitey, not against brothers.
"A hate crime is a crime for which there is a perfectly appropriate sentence "ô like life for murder or 10 years for assault "ô but the judge can tack on more years if the perpetrator had hate in his heart,"Ł said Sharpton. "This was no hate crime "ô the man said himself he was goin' lookin' for happy people!"Ł
The defense lawyer had asked the judge to consider the convicted man's diagnosed mental disorders and the fact that he had been a sexually abused child, but the judge said "nuts"Ł to that.