Saturday, June 25, 2016

Perspective: A fair verdict for the Meriden mosque shooter | Record-Journal Editorial


It is to the credit of the members of the Baitul Aman mosque that they recommended leniency for Hakey, saying that it would be in line with the peace and forgiveness they preach.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Record-Journal
By RJ Editorial | June 24, 2016

Ted Hakey Jr. — the man who fired several shots into a South Meriden mosque last November, just hours after Islamic terrorists had killed 130 people in Paris — has been sentenced to six months in prison. During sentencing in Hartford, U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shay said Hakey appeared to sincerely regret his actions, but that the court needed to send a strong message that attacks on mosques won’t be tolerated.

“It has never been more essential to send that message than it is today,” the judge said, in a decision coming just days after the recent massacre of 49 people in Florida.

It is to the credit of the members of the Baitul Aman mosque that they recommended leniency for Hakey, saying that it would be in line with the peace and forgiveness they preach. And it is to the credit of the state chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that it took a similar tack in saying to the judge that “any punishment should result in the reformation of the wrongdoer.” The South Meriden mosque is part of the chapter.

Hakey’s attorney asked that he be sentenced to time served. However, actions have consequences. Three of the four shots Hakey fired penetrated an exterior wall, including one that traveled through two prayer rooms.

The prosecutor urged the court to impose a sentence of eight to 14 months, as called for under federal guidelines. Instead, he got six months, with credit for three weeks served; and three years of supervised release, and $5,100 in restitution to the mosque, and at least 20 hours of cultural sensitivity classes.

It is also to Hakey’s credit that he has made what Shay called “real and substantial” efforts at rehabilitation, including meeting multiple times with mosque members and seeking counseling to end an addiction to alcohol. But the judge also said he couldn’t overlook anti-Islamic comments Hakey made on social media, including some urging violence, over a “substantial period,” and the fact that the shooting posed a potential safety threat even if it occurred late at night. Hakey said he is “ashamed” of the social media posts.

“You can’t just let me walk,” Hakey said, “and I understand that, and I respect that.”

Hakey is right: There had to be some punishment in this case. But through the goodwill shown by the victims, and the remorse demonstrated by the perpetrator, the court was able to find a reasonable resolution.

http://www.myrecordjournal.com/opinion/editorials/8995373-154/editorial-a-fair-verdict-for-the-meriden-mosque-shooter.html

Read original post here: Perspective: A fair verdict for the Meriden mosque shooter | Record-Journal Editorial


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