It’s unfortunately very common to hear of a Black person being convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, and more often than that to hear reports of them getting killed by authorities due to excessive force.
That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to hear of white people getting a slap on the wrist for committing equal or worse offenses, much like the failed bomber that was sentenced to mere probation recently after planting bombs near a busy plaza in downtown Pittsburgh following a Black Lives Matter protest.
53-year-old Matthew Michanowicz was given a proverbial “get out of jail free card” by Judge Donetta W. Ambrose after serving 18 months behind bars following the incident last year. He’ll also be required to undergo three years of supervised release, with the first 180 days beginning in home detention. According to his defense attorney Ken Haber, it appears Ambrose may have been influenced to serve a lighter sentence after determining the Duquesne Heights resident was having a “breakdown.”
Read up on Michanowicz’s actions below to see if it sounds intentional or along the lines of a mental episode, via Yahoo! News:
“On May, 31, 2020, six days after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin murdered [George] Floyd, and one day after a Black Lives Matter protest turned destructive in downtown Pittsburgh, Michanowicz rode his bike to the area.
He left a camouflage backpack containing three explosive devices on 2 PNC Plaza. The next morning, police responded to the plaza over a report of a suspicious bag. Inside the bag were three ‘homemade Molotov cocktails,’ police said.
Michanowicz had filled three pepper-spray containers with gasoline and stuck wicks inside.
Surveillance footage showing a man carrying the bag pointed police in Michanowicz’s direction. Days later, an officer spotted Michanowicz in the same area where the backpack was found.
He admitted he was the man seen on surveillance footage. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched Michanowicz’s home and found more materials similar to the ones used to make the devices, and 10 camouflage backpacks like the one planted at the scene.”
This past August, Matthew plead guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device for putting the bags of explosives in the plaza. Haber made the argument that stress his client faced after getting fired as a medical salesman, and losing both his father and a close friend, drove him to have a break with reality. However, many like Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Smolar felt like a longer sentence was more deserving of his crime, especially given the devices he planted could have hurt or killed someone. Smolar suggested a prison term in the range of 30 to 37 months.
What’s your take on this issue? Did Matthew Michanowicz allow the stresses of life to make him do something out of character or should he get a real sentence for committing a crime he really intended on carrying out like Ben Crump suggested on Twitter below:
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Failed Pittsburgh Bomber Only Gets Probation After Planting Explosives At BLM Protest was originally published on blackamericaweb.com