Cooking the goose and the gander

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Cooking the goose and the gander

Posted by Thersites on UTC 2017-12-11 17:46.

This report got the Breitbart comment thread fizzing with the intended indignation:

A Florida man convicted of a hate crime for leaving bacon in a mosque and breaking the mosque’s windows has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Michael Wolfe of Titusville took a plea deal, pleading guilty to criminal mischief Tuesday in connection with the January 2016 incident and was sentenced to 15 years behind bars with an additional 15 years of probation following his release.

Michael Wolfe of Titusville, Florida, waster of bacon – the swine!. (Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

Michael Wolfe of Titusville, Florida, waster of bacon – the swine! Image: Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Seems a bit tough, even by American standards. It was a bit of a puzzle that the hefty sentence was the result of a plea deal: what on earth was the proposed sentence that made this plea deal attractive to the defendant? Hanging, drawing and quartering?

In solving this problem, we have to give Breitbart credit for supplying the link to the source of the story in Florida Today, but that is all they get credit for.

Police said Wolfe broke into the mosque, ripping down lights, smashing windows and leaving behind the pork product. Pork — including bacon and ham — is prohibited in Islam, a faith followed by 1.6 billion people worldwide.

Wolfe also offered to the court the fact that he was a habitual offender, Brown said.

According to Brevard County records, Wolfe has had multiple run-ins with the law dating back to 1998, including convictions in burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and grand theft in 2004 — for which he was sentenced to two years, seven months and two days in prison — and burglary of a conveyance in 2011, for which he was sentenced to 64 days in the county jail. Wolfe was also fined and sentenced to probation after a 2001 burglary and grand theft arrest when he was just 20 years old, records show.

In addition, Wolfe was found guilty in three DUI offenses, possession of hydrocodone and cannabis, and an array of traffic violations. He spent over a year and a half in total in the Brevard County Jail over the course of his sentencings.

On top of criminal mischief, Wolfe was slapped with an armed burglary charge during his arrest, but that charge was dropped in court.

“The agreement was to drop the armed burglary in exchange for his plea,” Brown said.

Right. Now it all makes sense. Fifteen years in prison for this recidivist hoodlum sounds about right to me.

Our measured response to this is not outrage that this thug got locked up, but disappointment that Breitbart used highly selective reporting like this to confect a story. If they want to take the moral high ground and call out the US mainstream media for its twisted reporting of Trump then that's fine – but they need to keep their own hands clean.