Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Maybe this will send a message...but I doubt it

Bomb a women's clinic, go to jail. As it should be.

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A woman was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for igniting a small firebomb outside a Shreveport abortion clinic.

Patricia Hughes, 25, pleaded guilty last month to a state charge of manufacturing and possessing a delayed incendiary device. Hughes, who had a previous simple burglary conviction, could have received up to 20 years.

Surveillance video at Hope Medical Group for Women showed a vehicle circling the parking lot Dec. 12. It shows a woman walking toward the front of the building and a fire breaking out once she left.

Prosecutors said the device used was a bottle filled with gasoline, a rag and a candle. Defense attorney Edward Mouton said the device was meant only to be a lamp memorializing her sister’s child, aborted earlier at the clinic.

The device fell away from the building and burned, but the fire did not spread to the clinic.

Hughes’ former boyfriend, Jeremy Dunahoe, pleaded guilty last month to being an accessory. Prosecutors said Dunahoe hid Hughes after they found out police were looking for her.

Dunahoe, who has been jailed since his plea, was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday

Is six years too stiff? I don't know. Twenty would have been, since no one was harmed. And, with our Good Times laws, she'll be out in much less time, probably 18 months or so. But it's important to send a message that you cannot attempt to burn a clinic and get away with it.

I don't buy the whole memorial for her sister's fetus. I can believe she wanted to memorialize it, if she believes it was a fully formed human being. Sure. But you do that by lighting a candle at church or writing a poem or making a donation to a pro-life charity. You do not do it by filling a bottle with frigging gasoline and leaving it on private property. I'm sure she was hoping, if not necessarily intending, that it would burn the place down. (Of course, I note I'm making these generalizations based on what I know of the 'pro-lifers' down here.) Or, you know, if you wanted to light a lamp, why didn't she light an actual lamp? Kerosine lamps are pretty darn cheap and reasonably safe.

Hope Clinic is one of the few in the state that do abortions. They don't need people trying to burn the place down, for gods sake. And really, would her sister's child have wanted her/his aunt to burn some place down? That's a lovely legacy, isn't it?

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posted by Zan at 11:36 AM


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