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Detroit Man Gets 18 Months in Prison for Anti-Gay Assault Under Federal Hate Crimes Protection Act

Alesna

Everett Dwayne Avery, a 26-year-old Detroit man was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised released by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara, according to a memo from the Justice Department.

Towleroad reported on the assault, which targeted Detroit resident Justin Alesna (above), here.

Writes the DOJ in a memo:

The assault occurred on March, 7, 2011, while Avery and the victim were at a convenience store in Detroit. Avery used anti-gay slurs toward the victim as Avery and the victim waited in line in the convenience store. Shortly after the first slurs, while still in the store, Avery used another anti-gay slur and punched the victim in the face, fracturing the victim’s eye socket.  Avery pled guilty to violating the federal Hate Crimes Protection Act on Aug. 29, 2012.
 
“Hate-fueled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts motivated by hate.”

“Congress has made it clear that it is a crime to assault people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.  Prosecutions under this law are important to ensure that all people in our community know that they have the full protection of the law,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade.

Special Agent in Charge Foley stated, “Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society. We are a nation of laws and our laws embrace diversity and differences. The law does not tolerate the type of hate demonstrated in this matter and the FBI will investigate and put forth for prosecution a violation of that law.”

Alesna recorded a video at the time the assault took place. You can watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. The idea that what the criminal did to this man would be a lesser crime had the criminal not called him names is absurd. Before patting them on the back for their diligence, consider that the maximum penalty for felonious battery (which they call Felony Assault) in Michigan is ten years. The existence of "hate-crimes" enhancement may somehow make you feel safer, but what they really are is an unconstitutional punishment for thought or speech. I don't care if some thug calls me an epithet while he's beating me, I want him dead and failing that I want him to go to jail for the maximum allowable.

    How in God's name does anyone defend having the length of the sentence vary, in effect, with the identity of the victim?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 8, 2013 9:13:24 AM


  2. David Hearne, I agree wholeheartedly. "Hate crimes" are a little too close to thought crimes for me. Judges already consider if an assault was provoked. I don't see why any unprovoked assault needs a special treatment under the law.

    Posted by: andy | Feb 8, 2013 9:23:39 AM


  3. You need a harher punishment because in cases like this the purpose of the crime is not to randomly attack an individual, but to terrorize a whole community of individuals.

    Do you really think that lynchings happened just because some of the perpetrators found them entertaining? Their purpose was to subjugate an entire community to the will of the dominant social group through fear and terror.

    Posted by: gsh | Feb 8, 2013 12:50:33 PM


  4. Don't engage David Hearne y'all. I have a good feeling it's a Rick/ratbastard alias. Just study his previous rants.

    Posted by: Cots | Feb 8, 2013 12:59:58 PM


  5. "You need a harher punishment because in cases like this the purpose of the crime is not to randomly attack an individual, but to terrorize a whole community of individuals."

    This was some thug in a convenience store. Unless there is some fact not in evidence, he could have as easily been attacking some straight guy and calling him a queer while doing it. Do you honestly think that anyone learned a lesson from this? No. Moreover, the downside potential outweighs any benefit. Each day in this country black people attack white people and don't get charged with hate crimes for doing so. White attacks on blacks are actually quite rare. So what do hate-crimes enhancements accomplish? They make the public feel that the administration of justice is corrupt and preferential. It's bad law- the fact that it makes you feel good is irrelevant.

    "Do you really think that lynchings happened just because some of the perpetrators found them entertaining?"

    Actually, most lynching "happened" because we were a very rural country without what we normally think of as police forces. Most of the people lynched had been convicted of crimes. It's really not good academics to project our modern sensibilities on our ancestors. Horse thieves got lynched. Murderers got lynched. White people got lynched. Blacks got lynched. 4472 people were lynched. 25% of those were lynched for other than a criminal offense.

    The popular photo of Laura Nelson and her son being hanged from a bridge is trotted out often but rarely is it mentioned that they both had confessed to killing a sheriff.

    "Their purpose was to subjugate an entire community to the will of the dominant social group through fear and terror."

    Lynching was indeed often used to send a message. Usually that message was that crime would not be tolerated. It worked really well.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 8, 2013 1:13:42 PM


  6. Your lynching analogy would apply in this case if (and only if) Avery had been killed.

    This is more time that what usually happens for assaults.

    "Lynching was indeed often used to send a message. Usually that message was that crime would not be tolerated. It worked really well."

    Real nice. You justify the lynching of black people by saying that lynching was a deterrent to crime.(and others, Chinese people were lynched in California and one of the largest mass lynchings in American history was of Italians in New Orleans...and we'll never know how many gays were lynched because they were gay...)

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 8, 2013 1:48:37 PM


  7. Your lynching analogy would apply in this case if (and only if) Avery had been killed.

    This is more time that what usually happens for assaults.

    "Lynching was indeed often used to send a message. Usually that message was that crime would not be tolerated. It worked really well."

    Real nice. You justify the lynching of black people by saying that lynching was a deterrent to crime.(and others, Chinese people were lynched in California and one of the largest mass lynchings in American history was of Italians in New Orleans...and we'll never know how many gays were lynched because they were gay...)

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 8, 2013 1:48:39 PM


  8. "White attacks on blacks are actually quite rare."

    Oh, really. Ask Black Gays who may be on the streets at 3:00am in the morning. Ask homeless Black folks sleeping in public parks. You might be surprised.

    "Most of the people lynched had been convicted of crimes."

    Yes, by a perfectly fair jury made up of their peers. Chaney, Werner and Goodman ring a bell.

    "Each day in this country black people attack white people and don't get charged with hate crimes for doing so."

    Maybe the Black perp is so busy taking your wallet or handbag he doesn't have time to call you a racial slur. Without the racial slur it's a mugging not a hate crime.

    David, where did you get your historical perspective about lynchings in the United States? Obviously, some White supremacist blog. Your view is something I've only seen and heard in documentary interviews with members of the White Citizen's Council in the 1950s.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 8, 2013 1:48:57 PM


  9. I don't understand why some people don't understand the need for hate-crime legislations. Isn't there a reason motive is considered in criminal trials?

    Posted by: Riley | Feb 8, 2013 2:46:44 PM


  10. That anyone in their right mind would agree with "DAVID HEARNE" on any topic shows a complete lack of intelligence, values or both.

    To even bother rebutting "it" shows a lack of common sense. Just ignore "it".

    Posted by: Marc C | Feb 8, 2013 8:05:05 PM


  11. MARC C

    "To even bother rebutting "it" shows a lack of common sense. Just ignore "it"."

    I notice that neither you nor Derrick rebutted my posts. Could that be because I am objective, candid, and factual?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 8, 2013 11:06:56 PM



  12. "Oh, really. Ask Black Gays who may be on the streets at 3:00am in the morning. Ask homeless Black folks sleeping in public parks. You might be surprised."

    Give me facts and documents. Your conversation has no value to the discussion. Got facts?

    ""Most of the people lynched had been convicted of crimes."

    Yes, by a perfectly fair jury made up of their peers. Chaney, Werner and Goodman ring a bell.""

    How tiresome you are. Were the juries only biased when black people got lynched? Or were they also biased when white people got lynched?

    "Maybe the Black perp is so busy taking your wallet or handbag he doesn't have time to call you a racial slur. Without the racial slur it's a mugging not a hate crime."

    And that shows how stupid the entire "hate crime" enhancement bs actually is. Two black guys can get in a car and drive an hour to maim a white gay man (who ought to have been armed) in West Hollywood
    but it wasn't prosecuted as a hate crime because they didn't yell epithets. Do you see how stupid that is?


    "David, where did you get your historical perspective about lynchings in the United States? Obviously, some White supremacist blog. "

    The statistics come from the Tuskeegee Institute. The story of Laura Nelson and her son is a matter of public record. Oh, never mind, you don't like facts. The public record must be lying.


    "Your view is something I've only seen and heard in documentary interviews with members of the White Citizen's Council in the 1950s."

    Stick it Derrick. Your jaw flapping obviously works for you in your world or you wouldn't do it, But you so rarely deal in facts that you produce nothing but noise.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 8, 2013 11:15:34 PM


  13. @ Riley

    "Isn't there a reason motive is considered in criminal trials?"

    Motive is indeed an element of the crime: motive, means, opportunity. It is not supposed to be an element of the sentence.

    Notice how some here keep trying to derail all conversations in which doctrinal thinking is challenged? That's because they don't actually think. They internalize doctrine and that way they can all be "on the same page" and gain acceptance with the Human Rights Campaign crowd.

    The bottom line is that "hate crimes enhancements" make it a worse crime to victimize one identity than it is another. How can any thinking person justify that?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 9, 2013 7:10:17 AM


  14. I'll jump in; the way things are today, David Hearne, is that "harming gays" still gets a pass in most states. WHo cares? You just discriminated against, or attacked, a "F@g"

    You know this to be true, that's why you're one more poster who doesn't have the courage nor integrity to put a face to your comments. You troll.

    If you believed a word you ever write you'd be putting it all out there as a visible presence. You're not. You're a right-wing suck up shill.

    Your kind is just so bloody typical. Boastful claims from behind your burqas. man up.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 9, 2013 1:49:31 PM


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