Local News

Raleigh man gets 45-day jail sentence for hate crimes

Posted October 1, 2008

— A Raleigh man will spend 45 days in prison on two federal hate crime charges for sending threatening e-mails to Hispanic and Islamic advocacy groups last year.

Pleading guilty to the charges Tuesday, Christopher Szaz, 42, said he was "extremely intoxicated" when he threatened the National Council of La Raza with racial slurs and threats on its employees' lives.

He said the e-mails – one on July 27, 2007, to La Raza and an earlier one with similar threats on June 8, 2007, to the Council on American-Islamic Relations – were not things he would normally write.

U.S. District Judge James Gates sentenced Szaz Wednesday. He was also sentenced to a year of probation.

Szaz apologized for the crimes Tuesday, saying he is an alcoholic who has been in Alcoholics Anonymous.


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  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 2, 2008

    Wow. He should go to jail for 40 years for "hate" Dataclerk?

    Yes. Remember the dragging case in Texas. A man lost his life.

  • WRALcensorsforIslam Oct 2, 2008

    Wow. He should go to jail for 40 years for "hate" Dataclerk?

    So much for the right to hold an opinion. It is the act of communicating threats that is the real crime. Violent crime, by definition, is an act of hate. Communicating a threat is by its nature a hateful act. The opinion that motivates the act is irrelevant.

    If applied without regard for the perpetrators ethnicity and applied each time an inter-racial crime occurs where the perp references the ethnicity of the victim the law of unintended consequences would kick in immediately and in ways the proponents of "hate crime" punishments did not intend.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 2, 2008

    VOTE MCCAIN PALIN 2008, I have had enough of the leftist agenda crammed down our throats.

    You are absoluely right on the leftist agenda. VOTE FOR OBAMA/BIDEN. THE RIGHT CHOICE. A CHANGE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
    OBAMA/BIDEN OBAMA/BIDEN. Keep saying and writing the words, soon you will be used to it. Obama will be your next president. Watch how the Alasky girl do tonight. Be sure to bring your laughs.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 2, 2008

    This 45 days is supposed to do or teach him what? The second he gets out of prison he will resort back to his hatred of others. He should have gotten 40 years. That would have taught him something.

  • Weetie Oct 1, 2008

    he should get MORE than 45 days

  • ccs1920 Oct 1, 2008

    manofjustice/ You don't know Obama. All you know is what he says. Do you really believe he always tells the truth? He, and all the others, say what they think you want to hear. You arn't living in the real world if you believe otherwise.

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass Oct 1, 2008

    commit perjury in federal court, get an awesome presidential library, say mean things get jailtime...hmmm

  • Aruba Oct 1, 2008

    Darn! You just can't tell people how you really feel anymore.

  • Harrison Bergeron Oct 1, 2008

    "'How can you criminalize people's motivation? Absurd.' -timbo

    It's done all the time - for example, murder in the first degree or second degree; assault or assualt with intent to kill. It's nothing new to look at people's motivations as a differentiating factor with regard to the actual physical crimes that have been committed...however, let's not pretend that the whole concept of differentiation is new." -zanerx

    While you are correct regarding the determination of motive, the problem is that this law doesn't try to determine motive. It attempts to make a determination of intent. Most may think these are synonymous, but they aren't.

    There is a fine distinction. Motive is the "why" of the act of crime itself, whereas intent is the larger goal, usually involving intimidation against a specific class.

    This is, in most cases, much more difficult to prove over simple motive, and in a case such as this, is a magical act of mind reading.

  • Evil one Oct 1, 2008

    He is guilty of communicating threats, thats all. Case closed. Liberals are destroying our justice system. The rampant lack of civility in our society is the result and it will get much worse.