Farmers Branch Officer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison For Killing Teen


Former Farmers Branch police officer Ken Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in the killing of a teen in March 2016.

The judge in the case initially said Johnson was sentenced to 20 years but then clarified that half of that sentence will be probation.

Johnson, 37, was convicted of murder and aggravated assault Dec. 19 in the death of 16-year old Jose Cruz. Edgar Rodriguez, who was 16 at the time, survived but lost a finger and was shot in the ear.

Johnson shot the teens while he was off-duty, admitting he became angry when he spotted two teens stealing third-row seats from his SUV on March 13, 2016. He pursued the teens in his vehicle and spun out the Red Dodge Challenger that Cruz was driving.

Johnson then fired 16 rounds into the Challenger.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder charge and 10 years of probation for the aggravated assault. The sentences will run concurrently.

“We got [Johnson] guilty of murder, we got 10 years, and yes, we definitely wanted more because we believe a life is worth more than 10 years” Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said in a news conference after Ken Johnson’s sentencing. “However, we do respect the jury’s decision in this case.”

Faith Johnson disappointed in 10-year sentence for former officer

Jurors saw surveillance video during the trial that showed Johnson spun out the Challenger.

Johnson on the stand Monday told jurors that he didn’t intend to make contact with the vehicle but did so after Cruz slowed down.

Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus reminded Johnson the black box data recorder on Cruz’s car reported no deceleration.

“Is that black box wrong,” Hermus questioned. “It could be,” Johnson replied.

After crashing in a busy intersection, Johnson approached and fired into the vehicle.

Testimony from 27 witnesses during the trial indicated Johnson never identified himself as a police officer before he opened fire.

Johnson told jurors he could see into the vehicle, despite the tinted windows, before he opened fire.

“He (Cruz) took his hands off the steering wheel and reached down, that’s when my heart jumped out of my chest,” Johnson said.

On cross examination prosecutors clarified after Cruz was dead, Johnson took aim at Rodriguez firing 4-6 rounds at his head, despite no evidence he posed a threat.

“You opened the door to get a clean shot at Edgar,” Hermus said.

Source: http://www.wfaa.com/mobile/article/news/ex-farmers-branch-officer-sentenced-to-10-years-in-prison-in-teens-killing/287-506621400

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Off-Duty Officer Who Murdered Teen Should be Held to Higher Standard When Sentenced


For purposes of his murder trial, Ken Johnson wanted jurors to know he was a cop — that he was trained and experienced, that he had the instincts of a veteran police officer.

On Monday, when his sentencing trial opens, Johnson should be held to that standard. He was off duty on March 13, 2016, when he emptied his gun into a car occupied by two teenage burglary suspects.

But in the words of his own defense lawyer: “When you’re a peace officer, you never have a day off.”

In claiming the authority of the badge for his actions, the former Farmers Branch patrolman betrayed the most elemental and altruistic tenets of the job: protection, service, keeping the peace.

In claiming that he pursued and shot dead a teenage thief not just incidental to, but as a direct result of his profession, he insulted men and women in law enforcement everywhere.

For an ordinary citizen to behave like a violent hothead with no respect for other people’s safety or for lawful procedure is shameful. For a police officer, it’s inexcusable, abhorrent.

Responsible cops don’t blow their tops and grab their guns to run after thieves while they’re off duty. They don’t chase them through city traffic in their private cars and ram their vehicles to make them stop.

“That’s just something we don’t do,” testified Johnson’s ex-boss, Farmers Branch Police Chief Sid Fuller.

They don’t turn around and wander away from somebody they claim that, only minutes earlier, had put them in fear for their lives. Johnson’s defense was that he saw one of the teenagers “reach for something” that might have been a gun.

“We don’t turn our backs on suspects who are not secured … if there’s a legitimate fear,” testified Johnson’s ex-colleague, a former Farmers Branch detective.

Johnson, who was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer before joining the Farmers Branch department, was at his apartment complex the day he spotted two teenagers in the parking lot stealing rear seats from his Chevy Tahoe.

Instead of calling for a patrol unit or backup, Johnson — dressed in shorts and a T-shirt — grabbed his gun, jumped in his car, and chased the suspects. He pursued them into neighboring Addison, where he rammed their Dodge Challenger, forcing it to spin out of control and come to a stop in front of a gas station.

Despite defense claims that Johnson identified himself as a police officer, one witness recounted that Johnson said only one thing before he started shooting: “Woo-hoo!”

The witness, a football player, said, “If I were to make a big hit, I’d make a similar sound.”

Woo-hoo.

Witnesses testified that Johnson was in such a rush — and, apparently, such a rage — that he forgot to secure his own vehicle: As he sprinted toward the suspects’ car, the Tahoe rolled into oncoming traffic.

Within seconds, Johnson began firing at the Challenger. According to reports, he kept firing after yanking open the driver’s side door, shooting until his gun was empty.

The driver, 16-year-old Jose Cruz, was killed, shot in the head. The passenger, 16-year-old Edgar Rodriguez, was injured but survived.

“He just started shooting without saying anything,” said Rodriguez, who lost a finger and required surgery to repair a mangled ear.

For full story visit: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/01/04/duty-officer-murdered-teen-held-higher-standard-sentence-decided

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Child Rapist Gets No Jail Time As Father & Son Sentenced to Years for Selling a Plant

JAILJAIL

A convicted child rapist was just given a sentence of probation for repeatedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. Jeff Calica pleaded guilty to a single count of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor, but at his sentencing Monday, Judge Michael Washington imposed the agreed-upon terms of his plea bargain. He will not see a single day in jail.

Although the judge sentenced Calica to three years in prison, he suspended all of them and placed the child predator on probation instead.

Calica originally faced up to eight years in state prison for his acts with the small child who attended middle school in Solana Beach, California. However, because of a broken justice system, the eight years turned to zero.

According to NBC San Diego, a spokeswoman for the victim’s family rejected that punishment as inadequate, noting that defendants routinely go to prison for simple possession of child pornography. She said Calica drove to Solana Beach twice from Oxnard, and had sex with the girl both times.

“Your actions and assault [have] turned our lives upside-down and caused a happy little girl’s life to be ripped out from under her feet and be put into a tail-spin of depression, isolation and bitterness,” the girl’s mother wrote in a letter to the court.

The victim’s family will now have to take matters into their own hands and have subsequently filed a civil suit against their daughter’s rapist. The school is also named in the suit because they “negligently allowed (the victim) to use school computers to go to online chatrooms where she met Calica … and entered an online relationship.”

The suit also states students, including the victim, were allowed to leave school unsupervised and go next door to the Solana Beach Library where the abuse took place.

No one at the school has been charged and we wouldn’t expect them to be given the fact that the child predator was let off virtually scot-free.

A 12-year-old girl was allowed by the school to build a relationship with a child predator who she was subsequently raped by—twice—and not a single person was punished. A travesty of justice, indeed.

What’s more, if we compare Calica’s case to another case across the country in Pensacola, Florida—a far more perverse injustice is revealed. Earlier this month, William Brett Brownell, 26, was sentenced to 70 months in prison and his father, William Ezra Brownell, 60, was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

This father and son had not raped anyone, had not attempted to prey on children, had not stolen anything, and, in fact, they had harmed no one.

The Brownell’s “crime,” which landed them a cumulative 7.5 years behind bars, was to sell a plant to willing customers. For three years, this father and son duo sold large quantities of a highly beneficial plant that is legal in some form in over half the country—including Florida—and now they’re behind bars.

Sadly, they were thrown in jail by a justice system who places crimes against children in the back seat to the immensely profitable war on drugs.

When a child rapist is spared time behind bars while a father and son are thrown in a cage for selling a plant, it is high time to reexamine the current system. Indeed, this comparison is not rare. It happens all the time.

Earlier this year, TFTP reported on the case of Monroe Gordon Piland III—a doctor and former Naval officer—who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for growing cannabis which harmed no one.

That same month, an NYPD sergeant, who raped a 13-year-old girl repeatedly, got a slap on the wrist for his heinous crime which has likely destroyed another life. According to the Daily Mail Vladamir Krull was, “convicted of twice raping girlfriend’s daughter, 13, and forcing her to perform sex acts on him at school after taking her to the father/daughter breakfast.” When his case went to trial, he was convicted of child rape and received just THREE years in prison.

As Jack Burns wrote, we want to know why. Why is it pedophiles get off scot-free and those who are reportedly trying to do good with their knowledge of natural medicine are kidnapped, jailed, and/or killed, all because of a God-given plant and its healing properties?

Studies show pedophiles have dozens of victims before they’re eventually caught or die of natural causes, and as this case illustrates, few of those who are convicted of crimes against children ever spend a day behind bars. Yet those caught with drugs are much more likely to spend serious time in prison for possession, and distribution, both typically non-violent offenses.

It’s high time we stop sending Vietnam War veterans, medical doctors, dads, children, wives and husbands to prison for a plant. It’s time we take action. Call your congressman or senator today and express your desire to see marijuana legalized, and those in prison for marijuana-related charges set free.

Please share this article so we can show others how crimes against children go unpunished while the state ruins lives over plants.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/child-rapist-avoids-jail-father-son-plant/

Russia cleans house: ex-economy minister Ulyukayev sentenced to 8 years in prison in $2mn bribery case

Russian former economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev

    

Former Russian economy minister Aleksey Ulyukayev has been found guilty on charges of taking a $2 million bribe and sentenced to eight years in prison. He is now the highest-ranking Russian official to have been convicted on corruption charges.

Ulyukayev was detained in November 2016 on charges of allegedly receiving a $2 million bribe, in return for his ministry’s support of a positive assessment that would allow state oil company Rosneft to complete a deal to purchase the government’s stake in another Russian oil major, Bashneft.

The charges were based on the testimony of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, as well as a on the evidence of a sting operation, in which Sechin personally handed a bag containing $2 million in cash to Ulyukayev, the then-economy minister.

The proceeding caused controversy in Russia, as Sechin delivered his testimony in written form, rather than in person. He refused four times to testify in court, citing scheduling differences due to the taxing nature of his job.

The defense argued that he was dodging a personal appearance and violating due process, while critics accused him of being arrogant and considering his position to be above the law. The issue was raised at this week’s Q&A session with President Vladimir Putin, who refrained from criticizing Sechin for his conduct.

According to the court ruling, Ulyukayev extorted the bribe from Sechin, and in so-doing abused his position as member of the Russian cabinet. The felony carries a potential punishment of a heavy fine, a ban from offices of power for up to 15 years and a prison term between eight and 15 years.

In his remarks, the presiding judge said “Ulyukayev acted under a preconceived plan, motivated by personal gain and with full understanding that the process of the privatization of Bashneft depended on his decisions.”

The court later sentenced him to an eight-year prison term and a fine of over $2.2 million. He was arrested in the courtroom before the sentence hearing proceeded. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of ten years in a penal colony for Ulyukayev.

Ulyukayev pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial and continued to maintain his innocence up until the verdict announcement on Friday. In his last address, he said a ‘not guilty’ verdict would be the only just outcome for his case.

After hearing the sentence, Ulyukayev said he considered it unjust. His defense team confirmed that they would appeal the ruling.

Ulyukayev’s defense argued that the money did change hands between Sechin and Ulyukayev, but that it was an entrapment on the part of the Rosneft head. The then-economy minister was not aware of the cash being inside the bag, his lawyers told the court.

In his final plea, the ex-minister reiterated his position. “The case contains no proof of my complicity in bribe-taking whatsoever. Moreover, it testifies that I am a victim of a monstrous provocation,” Ulyukayev said in court earlier this month.

“I am guilty of a different thing. I have served Russian citizens for many years, and I have managed to achieve something, but not enough. Only when I myself got into trouble I started to understand how hard people’s lives are. People, forgive me for this. I am guilty before you,” he added.

After his arrest in mid-November last year, Ulyukayev spent around two days in a pre-trial detention facility before being placed under house arrest at his apartment, located in an elite housing complex in Moscow.

Ulyukayev is the first government minister in Russia’s modern history to be found guilty of corruption by a court.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/371446-Russia-cleans-house-ex-economy-minister-Ulyukayev-sentenced-to-8-years-in-prison-in-2mn-bribery-case

Charleston Police Officer Sentenced to One Year Probation in Fatal Crash

Charleston police officer Stephen Doss

Sitting on opposite sides of a Kanawha County courtroom, a Charleston police officer and the woman whose mother died in a car crash he caused only had sorrow in common Thursday afternoon.

“There is no good side to this,” Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom said as he sentenced 27-year-old Stephen Doss to one year of probation and 10 days of community service for his role in the car crash that claimed the life of 80-year-old Dora Clarke, mother of Traci Aulenbacher, on Jan. 4.

Last month, Doss pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor emergency-vehicle violation for his role in the crash as part of a plea deal reached at a 2½ hour hearing on Nov. 4.

Doss was barely audible as he addressed the court Thursday.

“I would just like to say how very sorry I am to Mrs. Aulenbacher,” Doss said.

Aulenbacher cried while saying she felt Doss had not accepted responsibility for her mother’s death and that she has not been able to forgive him.

Aulenbacher asked Bloom to show Doss there were consequences for his actions and “that he is not above the law.”

“Police officers are to serve and protect,” she said. “His actions have proven he is not fit to serve, because you don’t protect. In fact, he endangers. My mother would want me to forgive him, because that’s the kind of woman she was. I can’t go there.”

Doss was indicted in August on three misdemeanor charges: an emergency-vehicle violation, negligent homicide and speeding.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Fred Giggenbach said Doss was traveling about 74 mph on Washington Street West — a 30 mph zone — as he approached its intersection with Maryland Avenue on Jan. 4.

Clarke was pulling out to cross Washington Street West when Doss’ vehicle collided with hers. She died five days later from the injuries she suffered in the crash.

Doss was en route to a report of a home invasion in which the suspect, who reportedly had a knife, had entered the home of a pregnant woman who had called 911, Giggenbach said Thursday.

In handing down his sentence, Bloom specified that he wants Doss to serve his community service with the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, to experience some “issues that exist on the streets that he may or may not be familiar with.”

Doss remains an employee of the Charleston Police Department, but he has been on paid administrative leave as the case proceeded through the court system.

Doss will be subject to administrative hearings with the Police Department and with the Law Enforcement Professional Standards Subcommittee, with regard to the future of his employment with the department and his certification status as a law enforcement officer, Giggenbach said.

Bloom said Thursday he felt Doss had expressed remorse during his guilty plea and a pre-sentencing report, to which Aulenbacher wasn’t privy. Bloom said he understood Aulenbacher’s feelings and asked that she be provided a copy of a transcript of the hearing in hopes of finding some understanding between her and Doss.

“There is no magic formula for either of you,” Bloom said. “I just hope that, with time, you both can find comfort and some resolution in this matter.”

Source: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/cops_and_courts/charleston-police-officer-sentenced-in-fatal-crash/article_37eb3692-874c-551f-9926-bcfb105114fb.html

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Former Police Officer Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Death Of Walter Scott

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison and two years of supervised release for fatally shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop in 2015, according to local news reports.

Slager, then an officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, shot Scott while Scott was running away from him. A bystander captured the death on cell phone video. The killing was one of many high-profile cases of police killing unarmed black men in recent years.

At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Slager said that he takes responsibility for Scott’s death, and Scott’s mother, Judy, expressed forgiveness.

In May, Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights by using excessive force. Two other federal charges and a murder charge from the state were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

“Law enforcement officers have the noble calling to serve and protect,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “Officers who violate anyone’s rights also violate their oaths of honor, and they tarnish the names of the vast majority of officers, who do incredible work. Those who enforce our laws must also abide by them — and this Department of Justice will hold accountable anyone who violates the civil rights of our fellow Americans. On behalf of the Department of Justice, I want to offer my condolences to the Scott family and loved ones.”

Read more on the Slager case here.

CORRECTION: An early version of this article reported prematurely that Slager had been sentenced.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-police-officer-sentenced-prison-155610116.html

WATCH: South Carolina Police Officer Sentenced to 20 Years For Killing Walter Scott


Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for the 2015 deadly shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott.

U.S. District Judge David Norton made the ruling after saying he would follow sentencing guidelines to send Slager to prison for 19 to 24 years. The former officer could have faced life in prison. Norton ruled that Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

It was an emotional day for both the Scott and Slager families. At one point Scott’s mother looked the former officer in the eye and told him she forgave him.

Walter Scott’s brother, Rodney Scott, called the death of his brother the worst day of his life. Rodney Scott said he wants Slager to pay for his actions.

This undated photo shows Walter Scott who was shot and killed by a police officer on April 4, 2015 in North Charleston, S.C.

Slager’s father, mother, sister and wife also spoke to the judge, begging for a lighter sentence. They talked about how Slager led a life of service and how upset they were after the shooting.

The judge’s decision comes after Slager, who is white, pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense.

Slager shot and killed Walter Scott on April 4, 2015, while Slager was an officer with the North Charleston Police Department. Witness video that surfaced shortly after the encounter appeared to show the moment Slager fatally shot Walter Scott as he ran away. He was fired from the force after the shooting.

Slager was charged in South Carolina with murder and pleaded not guilty. During the murder trial, Slager’s attorney said his client shot Walter Scott because he was in fear for his life. In 2016, the case ended in a mistrial. The state retrial and federal trial were expected to take place this year, but instead, in May Slager pleaded guilty to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights in federal court, ending the federal case against him and also resolving the state charges that were pending after the mistrial.

The judge’s ruling today followed several days of testimony, including from Feiden Santana, the witness who filmed the shooting.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/cop-michael-slager-faces-19-24-years-prison/story?id=51595376

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Former cop to be sentenced in videotaped killing of unarmed black man

North Charleston police officer Michael Slager  shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott

    

The former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager will be sentenced and fined this week in the federal civil rights case over the the shooting death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who fled a traffic stop in 2015.

Slager’s murder trial ended in a hung jury in December 2016. In May, he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Scott’s civil rights, under a plea deal that dropped state charges and two other federal charges.

Slager was a North Charleston police officer on April 4, 2015, when he pulled over Walter Scott’s vehicle for a broken tail light. Scott, 50, fled on foot. Slager pursued him into a nearby field before firing multiple shots into Scott’s back, killing him. The officer maintained that Scott resisted arrest and attempted to grab his gun, and that he feared for his life when he opened fire.

The officer was not wearing a body camera. However, the shooting was captured on camera by a bystander. The recording, viewed over 1 million times online, begins just seconds after Slager begins shooting and shows Scott breaking away after struggling with Slager over the officer’s Taser. Slager then began firing at Scott’s back from 17 feet away. Five out of eight bullets hit him.

The video also showed Slager picking the Taser up off the ground and dropping it near Scott’s body, in what prosecutors said during the trial was an attempt to plant evidence. Slager denied that, testifying he was following his training in accounting for his weapons.

Slager claimed the physical confrontation took place before the recording started. He was fired from the North Charleston police force when the video became public.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence, arguing that Slager committed second-degree murder and should be punished for obstructing justice. They say Slager repeatedly lied to authorities and in court, including not initially telling police he shot Scott in the back while he was running away.

Slager’s attorneys said the offense amounts to voluntary manslaughter. They argued Slager never lied, but the traumatic situation affected his recollection.

“A Swiss cheese memory is a symptom of stress, not an indication of lying,” his attorneys wrote in court papers, citing expert testimony.

Justin Bamberg, the attorney for the Scott family, told AP he believed Slager deserves a life sentence.

“I think everybody’s just ready to close this chapter of life and start the next chapter,” Bamberg told USA Today. “But all of them end the same way, and that is that Walter’s not here.”

Scott’s family said he owed $18,000 in child support and may have run for fear he would be jailed. The Coast Guard veteran and father of four had three stints in jail due to child support arrears.

The video of Scott’s shooting provoked Black Lives Matter protests nationwide. North Charleston settled a proposed wrongful death lawsuit with the Scott family for $6.5 million. As a result of the settlement, South Carolina lawmakers approved regulations requiring law enforcement to adopt body cameras and provided millions in state money for their purchase.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/370229-Former-cop-to-be-sentenced-in-videotaped-killing-of-unarmed-black-man

US Marine sentenced to life in Japan for rape-murder of Okinawa woman









 






Such a beautiful Japanese girl… really sad! As usual… it had to be a black guy! Why do beautiful girls always end up killed by blacks?

A former US Marine has been sentenced to life in prison by a Japanese court. The 33-year-old, who was a civilian worker at a US base in Okinawa, raped and murdered a 20-year-old Japanese woman last year.

Kenneth Franklin Shinzato pled guilty before the Naha District Court to the sex crime, but rejected the murder charge claiming he had no intention to kill the victim, Rina Shimabukuro. According to the prosecution, Shinzato attacked Shimabukuro near her home in Uruma, in central Okinawa, on the night of April 28, 2016. He clubbed her with a metal bar, took her to a grass field, strangled and repeatedly stabbed her before raping her, The Asahi Shimbun reported. Shinzato’s defense claimed he intended to knock his victim out and rape her in a hotel room, but panicked when he couldn’t render Shimabukuro fully unconscious.

The prosecution insisted the killing of the woman was intentional. They said when Shinzato left his home in Yonabaru in a car earlier that day he took with him the knife used in the assault and a large suitcase full of dirt. His intention, they argued, was to squeeze his victim into the suitcase and abandon the body in a shallow grave in the forest.

Shinzato, whose original family name Gadson was changed to that of his Japanese wife, served in the US Marines between 2009 and 2014. Later he was working at the Kadena Air Base as a civilian contractor for a cable and internet provider. He became a person of interest in the police investigation of Shimabukuro’s disappearance after his car was spotted in security footage from the area where the crime happened. The victim’s DNA was found in the car, making him a prime suspect. The body was found on May 19, as police was searching for it based on Shinzato’s testimony.

On Friday, lay Judge Toshihiro Shibata found Shinzato guilty of both rape and murder and sentenced him to life in prison – the punishment requested by the prosecution, Kyodo News reported.

The rape and death of Shimabukuro sparked outrage in Japan and particularly in Okinawa, where public sentiment is strong against the presence of American troops. Public protests against such crimes marred the visit of then-US President Barack Obama in May 2016. A month later Okinawa saw one of the biggest anti-American demonstrations in two decades, with at least 50,000 people attending.

The case is one of a number involving US service members or base employees targeting Japanese civilians, which have happened over the decades.

Source




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89-Year-Old Grandma Loses Appeal, Sentenced to Prison for Questioning the Holocaust

grandmagrandma

Detmold, Germany – An 89-year-old German woman was sentenced to 14 months in prison for incitement of racial hatred after losing an appeal on a prior conviction.

Ursula Haverbeck, often referred to in the German press as the “Nazi Grandma,” is known for extremist views that have run afoul of German hate speech laws in the past—with courts having previously given her fines and another suspended sedition sentence, according to Fox News.

In Germany, anyone who publicly denies, endorses or plays down the extermination of Jews during Adolf Hitler’s regime can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail for incitement of racial hatred.

Wikipedia explains German hate speech laws as:

Volksverhetzung, in English “incitement of the masses”, “instigation of the people”, is a concept in German criminal law that refers to incitement to hatred against segments of the population and refers to calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them, including assaults against the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population. It is often applied to, though not limited to, trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany.

According to a report by German state-run broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW):

A German court in Detmold has sentenced Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck to 14 months in prison, after the 89-year-old woman lost her appeal to a prior conviction on Tuesday. However, four months were shaved off her original conviction of 18 months. Prosecutors wanted the sentence upheld, Haverbeck’s lawyers were seeking exoneration.

 

The Detmold court had initially sentenced Haverbeck to eight months imprisonment in September 2016, after she sent a letter to the town’s mayor, Rainer Heller, claiming that Auschwitz was not a concentration camp.

 

Following the trial, the octogenarian handed out pamphlets to journalists, as well as the judge and prosecutor, entitled “Only the truth will set you free,” in which she once again denied the Nazi atrocities. Haverbeck was handed an additional 10-month sentence for the stunt.

In the United States, incitement of violence is criminal but “assaults against human dignity of others by insulting, malicious maligning, or defaming segments of the population” are considered an exercise of free speech, and thus protected under the First Amendment.

Essentially, German law has criminalized speech as a means of controlling political discourse—meaning the government will tell you what is acceptable to say, and who is fair game to malign, and what groups and classes are protected.

While some speech may be extreme and repulsive, the prohibition on certain ideas, even the most repugnant, being put into the public marketplace of thought is a fast track to totalitarian governmental control—essentially legitimizing the “thought police.”

According to DW:

Haverbeck and her late husband Werner Georg Haverbeck, who was an active member of the Nazi party in the run-up to and during the Second World War, founded a right-wing education center called Collegium Humanum, which has been banned since 2008. She has also written for the right-wing magazine Stimme des Reiches (Voice of the Empire), which she also used to express her views that the Holocaust never took place.

Haverbeck has been sentenced on similar charges on five other occasions but has not yet served any jail time as she appeals the cases.

In October, she was sentenced to six months in prison by a Berlin court after being found guilty of inciting racial hatred for claiming the gas chambers at Auschwitz concentration camp “were not real.”

Prior to that, in August, she was given a two-year prison sentence by a regional court in Lower Saxony, according to DW.

The 89-year-old has appealed the rulings passed down against her in each case and claims she has been merely been repeating an opinion.

The most recent appeal verdict is not final, either, as Haverbeck’s attorneys plan to take the case to the Higher Regional Court in Hamm – which will serve as the final opportunity to challenge the prison sentence.

As Hall wrote in The Friends of Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/89-year-old-nazi-grandma-prison-speech/