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In SDNY Alt-Right Defendant Jailed In Iowa Is Sentenced To 8 Months Far Right Sites Cited

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 13 – A defendant described as Alt-Right faced imprisonment on December 20, 2019 in a large courtroom with only Inner City Press in the gallery.

      But the defendant Garrett Kelsey on Iowa, charged in July with death threats to an employee of Jewish organization in Manhattan, was then allowed to return free to Iowa albeit without access to a computer at the Lowe's he works at there.

     The U.S. paid for his same-day flight back to Cedar Rapids. 

    It's not that the U.S. didn't try. Before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Sidney H. Stein, the Assistant US Attorney quoted from a message the defendant sent at Thanksgiving, "Happy Indian Slaughter Day" - but it was stopped by an objection.  

 Federal Defender Andrew Dalack, just doing his job, said that his client is not on trial for despicable views. Of course not.

  Dalack worried that his client might lose his job at Lowe's.

 On September 8, with Kelsey calling in from a hotel in Iowa with housekeeping knocking on the door, Judge Stein held a violation of supervised release proceeding. Inner City Press again covered it.

   Kelsey, who had be required to move hotels due to the derecho storms, had also bought a laptop and left a problematic Yelp! comment. Judge Stein said he was more focused on the purchase of the laptop and misleading Pre Trial Services. He ordered him remanded.
  Federal Defenders asked for an extra day, for Kelsey to see his kids and speak to his employer, presumably still Lowe's. Judge Stein compassionately granted it, to September 9 at 4 pm, with sentencing set for October 13.

  On October 13, Inner City Press again covered the case. Judge Stein cited Kelsey's "Facebook messages to Antifa" and visits to far right website.

    Racist Yelp posts were also enumerated. And, in the indictment, actual threats to a Jewish organization. Additionall it seems clear that Kelsey violated the agreed conditions of his release. But is visiting a website a basis for being sentenced? Or being rude to political opponents? These issues appeared all mixed together.

  Ultimately Judge Stein, expressing sympathy but a need to turn things around, sentenced Kelsey to eight months, to be served in Iowa, followed by three years of supervised release under conditions. Consistent with the First Amendment? Kelsey's Federal Defender did not object.

  The case is US v. Kelsey, 19-cr-886 (Stein).


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