July 7, 2015
Muslim Advocates Urges U.S. Department of Justice to Charge Robert Doggart with a Federal Hate Crime
Doggart planned an attack on the Muslim community in Hancock, NY
Today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) took a positive step forward by charging Robert Doggart for soliciting others to damage or destroy religious property under 18 U.S.C. sec. 247. To secure full justice, however, Muslim Advocates continues to urge the DOJ to charge Doggart, a former TN congressional candidate, with a federal hate crime under 18 U.S.C. sec. 249. Doggart intended to not just damage property but to kill innocent men, women and children motivated by his hate for Muslims and Islam.
An initial plea agreement was thrown out by a federal judge last week. The federal civil rights charge in today’s indictment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison – an improvement from the prior charge, which had a maximum penalty of 5 years. Muslim Advocates continues to advocate for a federal hate crime charge, which carries tougher penalties, including up to life in prison.
The Attorney General needs to send a proactive, strong message that Doggart’s actions constitute a hate crime and that any threat of bodily harm to Americans based on religious bigotry will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
To read the DOJ press release about the current indictment, click here.