August 5, 2019

A district judge sentenced Cesar Sayoc to 20 years of jail time for mailing 16 bombs, which turned out to be inactive, to 13 prominent Democratic politicians, and the cable news station, CNN. The prosecution argued for life in prison, but the judge found Sayoc did not intend to kill his targets, despite the intense hatred he clearly felt for them.

From The Washington Post:

The judge concluded that Sayoc, “though no firearms expert, was fully capable” of building a functioning bomb if he had wanted to do so. “He hated his victims,” the judge added, “but did not wish them dead, at least not by his own hand.”

Sayoc’s defense lawyer Ian Marcus Amelkin pushed for a 10-year sentence, saying he was using large quantities of steroids when he became obsessive in his support for Trump, consuming conspiracy theories from Fox News and elsewhere that fed his rising paranoia.

“It is impossible to separate the political climate and his mental illness when it comes to the slow boil,” Marcus said.

That's interesting, because right now, Republicans are trying their damndest to defend Trump's rhetoric, insisting it has nothing at all to do with the reason his supporters commit violence. Like, say, the fact that there have been three mass murders with guns committed in the last week, at least two of which targeted People of Color.

Yet Sayoc's own attorneys argued in his defense that Trump's rhetoric was largely to blame for his radicalization. Sayoc "saw a light" in Trump. But sure. Blame video games and Facebook.

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