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calendar   Monday - July 30, 2007

Unbelievable

This story broke over the weekend. 

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.

Stanislav Shmulevich of Brooklyn was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both hate crimes, police said. It was unclear if he was a student at the school. A message left at the Shmulevich home was not immediately returned.

The Islamic holy book was found in a toilet at Pace’s lower Manhattan campus by a teacher on Oct. 13. A student discovered another book in a toilet on Nov. 21, police said.

Muslim activists had called on Pace University to crack down on hate crimes after the incidents. As a result, the university said it would offer sensitivity training to its students

Tasteless? Sure.  Foolish? You bet.

But a FELONY?????

image

If someone took a Bible and put it in the toilet, would it be a felony charge?
If someone took a Book of Mormon and put it in a toilet, would it be a felony charge?
If someone took the Writings of Buddah and put it in a toilet, would it be a felony charge?

Is anyone here a Pace student?  Want to be a test case?

** Update **
According to Allahpundit, both of these charges are misdemeanors, but were elevated because they were HATE CRIMES.  In other words, my fellow countrymen, he had bad thoughts about someone during the commission of this crime and therefore deserves to be made into a felon.

MM has a copy of the complaint. Turns out the newspaper reports were wrong: he hasn’t been charged with any counts of aggravated harassment, just two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief (one for each Koran he flushed). As we saw yesterday, fourth-degree mischief is a misdemeanor. So how did Shmulevich end up with two felonies? Simple — they used the state hate crimes statute to elevate the penalty. You’ll find it here in section 485.05; criminal mischief is specifically identified as a covered offense in subsection 3. The provision ordering the court to enhance the punishment is in subsection 2 of section 485.10, right below the hate crimes statute. In pertinent part:

When a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this article and the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a class C, D or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified offense the defendant committed, or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.

Presumably, Shmulevich is looking at two Class E felonies now instead of misdemeanors. What’s the penalty for a Class E felony in New York? If the judge is feeling uncharitable, four years. At a minimum, per the same statute, one year.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2007 at 07:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Outrageous •  
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