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Tag: springfield mass

White Man Sentenced to 9 Years For Burning Down African-American Church: Was Angry About Obama Being Elected

Haskell was upset about Obama's election

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

A white man was sentenced today to nine years in prison for burning down a predominately African-American church in Springfield, Mass., the day after Barack Obama won the presidential election.

Benjamin Haskell, 24, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor in Springfield for the 2008 burning of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ. The predominately African-American church was under construction and 75 percent complete when it was torched, the Justice Department said.

In addition to the prison term, Haskell must pay a $7,500 fine and $1.7 million in restitution, including $123,570.25 to the Macedonia Church.

“The burning of the Macedonia Church because of racial hatred and intolerance was a vicious attack on one of our most cherished freedoms — to worship in the religion of our choice safely and without fear of discrimination,” Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement.

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