Jerusalem gay pride parade attacker sentenced to life in prison


Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed six marchers at the Jerusalem gay pride parade, including a 16-year-old girl fatally, was sentenced to life in prison.

On Sunday, the Jerusalem District Court also ordered Schlissel to pay compensation to the family of Shira Banki, the teen who was killed, and to those injured in the July 2015 attack. Schlissel, 40, was convicted in August.

The haredi Orthodox man had been released from prison several weeks before the parade after serving 10 years for a similar attack at the Jerusalem gay pride parade in 2005. In the days leading up to the 2015 parade, Schlissel expressed his opposition to the march in interviews and in ads in haredi synagogues in Jerusalem and Kiryat Sefer.

Police initially turned away Schlissel at an entrance point to the parade, but he found a way in later in the route.

The three judges in their sentencing said: “A person who sees himself as a killer or giver of life cannot walk around the streets of Jerusalem or anywhere else. In the few days of vacation between imprisonment and detention, he ended the life of a girl with a passion for life. He didn’t see her as a human being, and didn’t care at all who will meet [his] knife.”

Banki had been marching in the parade in support of her gay and lesbian friends.

Shira Banki, 16, was killed in a stabbing rampage at the Jerusalem gay pride parade in July 2015. Photo from Facebook

Schlissel had eschewed legal counsel, saying the court does not recognize Jewish law, and he did not cooperate with the investigation. He was found fit to stand trial after two psychological assessments and was represented by a public defender.

Leiby Kletzky’s killer sentenced to 40 years to life


Levi Aron, the Brooklyn store clerk who pleaded guilty to killing 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.

Aron, 37, was sentenced Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He did not address the court.

He pleaded guilty earlier this month to kidnapping, killing and dismembering Leiby near his home in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn in July 2011. Aron’s attorney at first had attempted to pursue an insanity defense; Aron reportedly has a history of mental illness.

Leiby’s family did not attend the sentencing, The Associated Press reported. A statement from his father, Nachman Kletzky, that was read in court said that “God did not abandon our son nor our family for one second.”

Leiby, making his first attempt to walk home alone from camp, had stopped to ask Aron for directions and entered his car. Less than 48 hours later, the search for the boy came to a grisly conclusion when parts of his dismembered body were found in the freezer of Aron’s apartment in the nearby Kensington section of Brooklyn.

Rubashkin sentencing hearing moves into second day


A federal judge is expected to issue a judgment in the sentencing of a former kosher meatpacking executive in three to four weeks.

The sentencing hearing in the financial fraud conviction of ex-Agriprocessors official Sholom Rubashkin is set to continue Thursday in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a full day of testimony Wednesday.

Ten witnesses spoke Wednesday on Rubashkin’s behalf, including a psychiatrist who interviewed him in jail. The psychiatrist said Rubashkin expressed regret for the harm he had caused himself and others, the Des Moines Register reported. Several former business partners and family members also testified.

The Agriprocessors plant in the Iowa town of Postville was the site of a federal raid in May 2008.

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors submitted a sentencing memorandum requesting life imprisonment based on their reading of federal sentencing guidelines. Rubashkin’s attorneys have requested that he be sentenced to no more than six years in prison.

Sentencing memos filed by prosecutors in the case accuse Rubashkin of bribing Robert Penrod, the mayor of Postville. Rubashkin was never charged with bribery, but the presiding judge can take such accusations into account when deciding on a sentence. Rubashkin’s attorneys told the Register that Agriprocessors made a loan to Penrod under duress from the mayor.

Rubashkin supporters held prayer services on his behalf Tuesday night in cities throughout the country and around the world.

Also Tuesday, six former U.S. attorneys general, in a letter to Linda Reade, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, criticized prosecutors’ request that Rubashkin be sentenced to life in prison.

Justice takes a beating in Long Beach racial hatred case


The nine black youths who beat three young white women have now been sentenced by a Juvenile Court judge, and there’s only one problem.

While these “kids” could
have killed their victims, the judge slapped them on the wrists lightly and sent them home. Astoundingly, after finding the nine defendants guilty of intent to cause bodily harm, with hate crime enhancements, the judge then reversed direction and gave them probation?

A tenth youth was acquitted.

The basic facts of the case are that last Halloween, a pack of black youths, with no evidence of any provocation, set upon three young white women who had come to an upscale part of Long Beach known to attract trick-or-treaters. Out of the larger crowd of attackers, 10 were identified and placed on trial.

After a lengthy process, that saw witness intimidation from gang members (one was forced to move; another had her car totaled), the expectation was — that if found guilty — a verdict and sentence would be handed down that delivered a strong message of intolerance for such uncivilized acts.

Instead, another message was delivered — that racism in its black guise will be treated with leniency and “understanding,” since this kind of racial retribution is an undesirable but understandable outgrowth of historic mistreatment at the hands of whites. What complete rubbish.

In case you wondered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Affairs, out of the 1.2 million cases of interracial crimes each year, 90 percent involve a black perpetrator and a white victim. The interests of law and order and a civil society were not served well by this judge’s sentences.

What highlights the crass, crude and bigoted nature of this ugly mass attack is the fact that Loren Hyman, one of the three victims, is both Jewish and Latino, but like a pack of hyenas converging on some yearling antelopes, this crowd was in no mood to parse out the finer points of ethnic and religious identity.

However, while these defendants have escaped culpability, others have not been brought before any judge. Ten black youths were put on trial, but it has been estimated that between 25 to 40 black teens surrounded Hyman, Laura Schneider and Michelle Smith last Halloween.

This was no routine youthful fracas — the attacks left Loren with more than a dozen facial fractures, a serious injury to her jaw, partial loss of sight in one eye and a recessed eye socket. Schneider was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.

One male attacker knocked one of the girls unconscious with a skateboard, while another was stomped as she lay unconscious.

According to both victims and witnesses, the attackers hurled anti-white slurs while beating the girls.

And to add insult to injury, on the day that four of the defendants were being released from custody to the comfort of their homes, Hyman was undergoing a seven-hour surgery to repair her shattered eye socket — the outcome of which is still unknown.

The rationale for giving probation, say Juvenile Court officials, is to promote rehabilitation — something presumably a harsher sentence couldn’t have accomplished? But, how can rehabilitation occur, when the parents and the teens have remained defiant, without any remorse.

Yes, they admit they were there but claim somebody else beat the girls. OK, I get it. They’re not guilty of an ugly assault; they’re actually, uh, victims.

But then the whole affair is bizarre, lodged squarely in the midst of the politics of racial identity. What if the scenario were reversed? For instance, what if the pack of black thugs who attacked these girls was white skinheads and their victims had been several young black youths?

Would the national media have virtually ignored the incident? Would every nationally known black leader have swooped into town, set up an encampment at the Long Beach Courthouse and demanded justice for the victims?

Wouldn’t everybody from the mayor to the governor and beyond be demanding that the judge send a message against racism? And, what if a judge handed down a sentence of probation for the skinhead scumbags — would the city have escaped massive “social justice” marches, with its leaders lustily yelling, “No justice, no peace”? Get the picture?

Some of us still remember the ugly incident on the first day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, you know, the one where white trucker Reginald Denny was set upon by several black thugs and nearly killed, simply for being white and in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some excused the actions of the thugs who beat Denny, saying it was misdirected black rage, but in no way was it racism.

Fast forward that tape to 2007, and we find Farai Chedeya, a black National Public Radio show host, saying shortly after the Long Beach attacks that “… some people say black folks cannot be racists because the root of the issue is power.”

What a convenient dodge. I wonder if that came to the mind of the victim as a black thug broke a skateboard over her head, sending her into unconsciousness. Now that’s power.

Joe Hicks is the former executive director of the L.A. chapter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He is currently vice president of Community Advocates Inc. and a KFI-AM talk show host.

Franklin Sentencing Seen As Ominous


It was surprising enough that the judge quadrupled the prosecution’s recommended sentence for Lawrence Franklin, from three years to more than 12.

But the true bombshell at the sentencing on Jan. 20 of the former Pentagon analyst, who is at the center of the case involving pro-Israel lobbyists and classified information, came as lawyers were shutting their briefcases.

That’s when U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told the courtroom in Alexandria, Va., that he believed civilians are just as liable as government employees under laws governing the dissemination of classified information.

“Persons who have unauthorized possession, who come into unauthorized possession of classified information, must abide by the law,” Ellis said. “That applies to academics, lawyers, journalists, professors, whatever.”

It was difficult to assess whether Ellis was thinking out loud or was pronouncing his judicial philosophy. The judge earned a reputation as a voluble off-the-cuff philosopher when he adjudicated the case of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban.”

But if those are Ellis’ jury instructions in April, when two former staffers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) go on trial, the implications could have major consequences — not just for Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, but for how Americans consider national security questions.

Franklin, a mid-level Iran analyst at the Pentagon, admitted to leaking information to Rosen and Weissman in 2003 because he wanted his concerns about the Iranian threat to reach the White House.

His Pentagon colleagues were focused on Iraq, and Franklin believed AIPAC could get his theories a hearing at the White House’s National Security Council. He also leaked information to Naor Gilon, the former chief political officer at the Israeli Embassy.

By the summer of 2004, government agents co-opted Franklin into setting up Rosen and Weissman. He allegedly leaked classified information to Weissman about purported Iranian plans to kill Israeli and American agents in northern Iraq.

Weissman and Rosen allegedly relayed that information to AIPAC colleagues, the media and Gilon. AIPAC fired the two men in March 2005.

Defense lawyers for Rosen and Weissman have joined a free speech watchdog in casting the case as a major First Amendment battle.

“The implications of this prosecution to news gatherers and others who work in First Amendment cases cannot be overstated,” lawyers for the former AIPAC staffers wrote in a brief earlier this month supporting an application from the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press to file an amicus brief.

The case is believed to be the first in U.S. history to apply a World War I-era statute that criminalizes the dissemination of classified information by U.S. civilians.

Franklin pleaded guilty to a similar statute barring government employees from leaking classified information. That statute rarely has been prosecuted; before Franklin, the last successful prosecution experts can recall was in the 1980s.

 

Reno Skinheads Sentenced to Jail


Joshua Kudlacek, at 19 the youngest of the defendants, received a five-year sentence.

Five skinheads who attempted to firebomb a synagogue in Reno, Nev., one year ago have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

On Nov. 30, 1999, the five, ages 19 to 26, accompanied by two teenaged girls, tried unsuccessfully to burn down Temple Emanu-El, home to an 80-year old Conservative congregation.

The sentence “sends a very strong message that this kind of hatred is not going to be tolerated, at least not in this community,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said following last week’s sentencing by Judge David Hagen.

According to the defendants’ testimony, one of the skinheads threw a Molotov cocktail and a liter bottle filled with concrete at the synagogue’s 8-foot window.

The concrete bottle damaged — but did not break — the window, and the gas-filled bottle only scorched the sidewalk, according to reports in the Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper and wire services.

Joshua Kudlacek, at 19 the youngest of the defendants, received a five-year sentence.

Terms of between 14 and 15 years were imposed on Scott Hudson, Daniel McIntosh, Carl DeAmicis and Christopher Hampton. They were also ordered to pay the synagogue $3,743.50 for damage to the window.The defendants avoided possible 40-year sentences through a plea bargain.

Prosecutor Bogden gave a slide presentation of the defendants’ clubhouse, which showed Nazi and Confederate flags, a “Whites Only” sign and a photo of Ku Klux Klan members in full regalia.

Three of the defendants sported Nazi tattoos in the video. The most prominent was a 4-inch-high swastika, outlined in red and black, just above the right ear of DeAmicis’ shaved head.

“You can look him right in the head, and you see that swastika carved in his head. It’s red. He wanted it red, but he had to do something to earn it — that was to throw the fire bomb,” said Bogden.

Later Bogden explained that the “skinhead mentality is to earn ‘reds’ you must draw blood.” When DeAmicis “filled the tattoo in red, it obligated him to draw blood or some other serious offense.”

The U.S. attorney also quoted McIntosh as saying he had targeted Jews because “they are evil, they control the media and they put racial mixing on TV, and that is wrong.”

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