Man Gets 39 Years for Firebombing Temple
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a man to 39 years in prison for firebombing a Jewish temple and later trying to send a racist later to the congregation. The defendant raised his hand in a stiff-armed Nazi salute as the judge left the court.
Sean Gillespie, 21, of Spokane, Wash., was found guilty in April of three bombing-related charges for hurling a Molotov cocktail at Temple B'Nai Israel a year earlier. The act, which caused minor damage to a brick wall and a glass door, was captured on a security videotape.
Gillespie's sentence was lengthened because of the letter he attempted to send to the temple after his conviction. The letter, which was read in court, expressed hatred toward the Jewish people and a desire to spark a racial holy war.
Federal sentencing guidelines called for a minimum of 30 years in prison, but Cauthron said a greater sentence was warranted, citing the letter and the nature of Gillespie's crime.
"What you've done is not an act of vandalism, it's an act of violence," Cauthron said.
Palestinian terrorists in Israeli courts regularly get far more lenient sentences than that for more severe offenses - and then they're released the next time the diplomatic wheel starts turning. Thirty-nine years for throwing a firebomb and causing minor damage? In Israel, even murderers rarely spent 39 years in prison.
It takes an American judge to mete out appropriate punishment to an enemy of the Jews. Unfortunately, we don't have it in us.