An Iowa man has just been sentenced to 16 years of jail time for stealing and burning an LGBT flag.
This sentence is just plain wrong - it's excessive, it's unreasonable, and it seems vindictive.
While we do not endorse theft or destruction of property, this sentence is both cruel and unusual.
This petition, therefore, calls on the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa State Supreme Court to step in and reduce this disproportionate sentence!
Story County (Iowa) Attorney, Jessica A. Reynolds, who prosecuted Mr. Adolfo Martinez said that an alleged "hate crime" was added to theft and arson because of what the flag "represents as far as sexual orientation."
Here's the catch: all of the charges, including theft, arson (Mr. Martinez burned the flag with lighter fluid), and the alleged "hate crime" would normally have added up to a maximum of only 6 years, 1 month.
But, because Mr. Martinez had prior convictions, the state allowed (but, did not mandate) a longer sentence to be handed down.
However, 10 additional years for burning a flag is excessive and disproportionate by any standard of fairness!
Even the maximum allowed, without prior convictions, seems outrageously excessive to the reasonable observer.
This petition will be sent to the Iowa State Court of Appeals and to the Iowa State Supreme Court, with the urgent request to show clemency and reason in this case, and REDUCE Mr. Martinez's excessive sentence.
Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this petition!
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